Millions of people had their lives interrupted this past weekend.
The blizzard of 2016 is officially in the books and it did a number on the East Coast of the United States; a high number. With reports of up to 42 inches of snow it is one of the largest storms in recorded history and it was even given a name; Jonas. The news showed the images and video of all those who are waiting for the plows to move the snow blocking their way to schools, jobs and stores.
Thankfully, I don’t live there.
Reality reminds me though that blizzards happen here too. Large snowfalls, high winds, dangerous road conditions, schools shut down are all part of my story. We don’t tend to get near the coverage on the news; when it happens here it doesn’t interrupt our countries government.
Here these interruptions are normal not newsworthy.
Dealing with the interruptions of a blizzard’s effect has always been a part of my normal. Born and raised in this land of distinct seasons; winter has always been the most notable. I have not yet learned to love them but I have learned to accept them as a part of life’s buffet. Experience has taught me that it doesn’t help to get overly upset when winter pushes the limits of its calendar-scheduled time and rudely interrupts our beautifully colorful fall or spring weather.
My perspective was much different as a child.
I was often glad when winter arrived early. I especially loved the blizzards not only because of the added days off from school but the dunes of snow they created. I knew, after the storm, that outside would be waiting the mountains of white to climb up, sled down, tunnel into, and build on.
My childlike eyes simply saw a wonderland of adventure.
Ideal locations for these adventures were created on our farm as my father used the tractor to push the snow into mounds away from the main route to the barn. My sister, brothers and I would be able to vigorously climb up to the roof of the machine shed and slide down again and again. It also gave a chance for siblings to work together instead of apart to make snow tunnels into places where our imaginations would grow. From forts we defended to walls built to protect us from the flying snowballs, the blizzard was the giver of all we needed for more.
Age and responsibility has melted much of that perspective away.
Now, as an adult, I dread blizzards; no longer are they the adventure bringing event of childhood. I know that, after the storm, outside there is waiting a mountain of white to dig out of and drive through so my plans can be accomplished.
My adult eyes simply see an interrupted life.
Winter storms are not the only way our plans get interrupted. Interruptions come in all forms; from diaper blow outs to burning supper, accidents to job loss; they can affect us for the short term or long. In my long term interruption of chronic illness this weekend held a “blizzard” of additional sickness. The current landscape of pain braced as countless inches of new aches and fever fell. Unadvised travel to the bathroom was necessary as the stomach flu caused drifts of nausea and a migraine threatened to shut down all runways of thought. My book now records a blizzard of 2016 that has done a number on me also. As it has moved on I am left to dig out of the head cold and fatigue that remains. Is this storm historic enough for a name; probably not.
To me it’s normal, not newsworthy.
Digging out of illness and its effects has also been part of my normal. In the distinct seasons of my life the “winter” of dealing with sickness has also been the most notable.
Getting sick, having surgery and dealing with migraines were all a part of life’s buffet. Experience taught me that it would not help to get overly upset when an illness would invade the boundaries of my calendared events.
God again speaks to me telling me how I can learn to handle those or any interruption in a way that is so much better.
The key to handling any of life’s interruptions is in perspective.
My point of view as a child during winter and blizzards was to see the adventure in them. The chance to do something new; having eyes to see the possibilities not the problems. That is why Jesus points out that His Kingdom perspective is one of a child.
And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 18:2-4
Adult eyes often only see an interrupted life.
One of the best parts of my life is the amount of time I have been able to spend in the presence of children. A child seems to be able to help me see things in a new light. When nurtured, a child’s perspective can turn the normal into the amazing. Just take a child with you anywhere and the scenery becomes much more vibrant.
With a child a drift of snow becomes a fort and a ball of it becomes the weapon to defend its walls.
Can this perspective help the adult in me see life’s interruptions in a new light also?
In answer to the question, God uses the words of a preacher on my podcast to say:
“Where you let your perspective go will guide your heart”
I can let my adult perspective guide my heart to see all that’s wrong with what has happened; to only see the need to dig out and drive through.
With a child’s perspective however, my heart can be drawn to see the interruption as an opportunity to build a fort of defense for my family and friends through intercession and prayer.
In a child’s perspective all interruptions can be a place to build up my wall of faith in Jesus protecting against the “snowballs” of the enemy’s schemes.
This new perspective can guide me to ideal locations; created by Father, God, clearing the way for my spiritual sisters and brothers and I, to vigorously climb and slide down together, not apart.
A life interrupted can be seen as a wonderland of adventure because with a child’s perspective everything will be notably more vibrant.