The east coast just experienced what I hope is the winter storm of the year, Storm Grayson. How we experienced the storm is all about perspective. In Darlington, South Carolina, where I live, life basically stopped when snow was predicted.
We hunkered down in our homes and waited. About three in the afternoon the snow started. By dark the worst was over. We had a huge amount of snow: four inches!
The next morning the temperature was in the teens! Of course there was no school because we had our four inches of snow and the temperature outside was below freezing. Instead, kids bundled up in whatever they could find and went sledding on whatever they could grab. Cardboard boxes and plastic garbage can lids were popular. No one has sleds here. No one has windshield scrapers either. The blast of arctic weather lasted four days. Imagine, four days of arctic temperatures!
My friends in Ohio are laughing at my Darlington experience. Four inches of snow? Really? Less than a week of freezing weather? We wish.
Those living in parts of Pennsylvania and New York who experienced an excess of thirty inches of snow and hurricane level winds believe those in Ohio got off lucky. It’s all about perspective.
Here in Darlington we don’t have snow plows. We don’t have de-icer for the streets, or vehicles to spread it. No one buys snow tires. It only snows once every two years, and then the snow usually lasts only hours. We are not prepared for this emergency, while our northern neighbors, who battle frozen Mother Nature yearly, are seasoned veterans and know how to survive in weather that immobilizes our southern towns.
Sitting in front of my warm fireplace I think of the similarity between Storm Grayson and our Christian walk. Those who have been on the path with Christ for some time are seasoned, having already battled the temptations that come with life’s journey.
Weaker Christians are not as prepared. They lack experience relying on Christ as they confront temptations. Their perspective is different. They struggle. Or fail. Temptations fall hard and pile up in drifts that cannot be moved when they don’t have a shovel.
Some Christians can withstand blizzards. Others need help lest they succumb to frostbite or die of hypothermia. The weak often don’t recognize the danger because they have never been in the storm. They don’t know to stay off the road, to dress in layers, to keep an emergency pack in their cars. They don’t know to turn to Christ rather than equally unprepared friends, to dress in the armor of Christ, or to use the scriptures as their strength.
People fall away from Christ. They end up bitter, their souls dotted with the black of frostbite. Or their faith dies completely. If they had someone with a different perspective to help them battle the storm, it could make all the difference.
Are there Christians around you who are struggling? Can you share your perspective with them, loan them your shovel, or better yet, work with them to plow their way out?
Are you an unseasoned Christian? Find someone with a shovel, who is strong in their faith, and create new skills. Your life may depend on it.