Well, the weather certainly wreaked havoc with MY plans this week. I’ve been designing our annual Advent prayer center at church for months. I take a lot of pride in the work that my amazingly creative friend Marda and I do in coming up with a different center each year. As usual, I anticipated over 120 people coming through and experiencing 12 different, hands-on prayer activities over a period of four days. The stations were all set up, the music playing and the candles lit.
|water prayer station|
|making Tibetan prayer flags|
What do they say about pride going before a fall? In this case, a snowfall?
Sunday, Day #1 of the event, the fluffy flakes began to descend during the 10:30 worship service (we were due to open the center at 4 PM). The forecasted “dusting” quickly turned into “coating,” then the meteorologists started sinking rulers into the heaps of white stuff outside. Four inches. Six inches. Because it was the weekend, plows were very slow to appear on the roads. Scratch Day #1. Attempt to reschedule 30 people for the remaining days.
Monday, Day #2, was cold but blessedly clear, so everything happened as expected. Whew! But wait!
Tuesday, Day #3, the heavy snow began by 8 AM and as of this writing shows no signs of abating. Once again, a cancellation, another large group of folks to (hopefully) be moved to another time.
Tomorrow should be sunny but bitterly cold, which will also likely deter some people from venturing out. And I have to take everything down tomorrow night to make room for the senior citizen group’s Christmas lunch in Parish Hall on Thursday.
I’ve been fuming and fussing, very annoyed and disappointed that my big production is in tatters. Thanks a lot, God! Here I was trying to do something nice for you, and this is the appreciation I get!
Now that that’s out of my system…
Maybe I need to let go of my grand plans, well-intentioned though they may be. These storms have inconvenienced many, many people on a far deeper level than me. Drivers in cars have skidded off roads, children in houses have lost their heat. Schools and businesses have closed. Emergency workers have been put at risk as they respond to countless calls for help. Maybe I need to pray for all of them, and not in clever ways but in a simple one. Perhaps I can utter a prayer of thanks that my family and friends are safe and warm, and that for us this snow is just a beautiful nuisance.
And Lord, may I see this unanticipated week of altered plans as a kind of gift. A reminder of who is in control (note to self: NOT me). A not-so-gentle nudge to send me to my knees. Life is filled with stuff that just happens, but there is grace and redemption in all of it if I only take the time to look.
This year, may the messed-up prayer center, center me. Amen.
|our backyard this morning|