As I slipped out of my nice warm bed I saw it. The reports had been true. Several inches of sloppy wet snow now blanketed my long driveway and patio, just as I had feared. Several inches of the slushy mess were too much to leave and too little for the snow blower to function. My desire to ignore it (after all wasn’t spring around the corner?) was dashed by the forecast of frigid temps arriving by nightfall. Experience told me that if left unattended the cold would transform the soft slush into cement lasting for weeks. With an audible sigh I resigned myself to rearranging my already full morning calendar. While I was thankful that my husband could also delay his morning appointments to attend to this irksome chore, I was still definitely not happy.
Back and forth, back and forth I went with the snow shovel, coaxing the slush off the paved surfaces and onto the grass. Back and forth, back and forth I grumbled and fussed in my head desperately trying not to give it voice. Back and forth, back and forth I ruminated about my blown up schedule, my once organized to-do list left in shatters. Back and forth, back and forth I tried in vain to placate myself with the thought that it was good for me to get fresh air and exercise. Back and forth, back and forth the tedium shrouding me… and then I heard it. I stopped. Could it be? YES! It was music! It was the most beautiful melody of birdsongs. The birds had returned to break through the long winter silence filling the air once again with joyous sharps and trills. And then it hit me…
IF I had not “had” to attend to the driveway that morning, I would have missed it. I would never have heard their beautiful voices full of promise and joy. They didn’t care that the weather was gloomy.
They didn’t care that a cold front was on the way. They were singing because they could and it was the most beautiful music I had ever heard. My morning was transformed and a new lighter heart was in me. Yes, they sang, spring is coming. Yes, they trilled life is good. Yes, we are singing because we are joyous in the moment regardless of what you are doing or complaining about.
Suddenly the familiar words of Psalm 100 came to me “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know that the Lord is God: it is he who made us, and not we ourselves: we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” and fast on its heels Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! and I was convicted and changed.
While I was focusing and fussing about the interruption to my day, my schedule, my wants, my displeasure and my inconvenience, that was all I could see. My world got darker and smaller by the minute. But God in God’s love and goodness did not leave me there. Although I surely did not deserve to be anywhere else. Instead God lifted me up and graced me with a song that in turn made my very heart and soul sing. I was transformed. Instead of passing on my annoyance and frustration to the rest of my day (and everyone around me), I was given new eyes to see, ears to hear, a heart to hope, and hands to work. Unearned grace to pass on… Thank you God!