‘Tracks in the snow …’

Published 9:01 am Thursday, December 13, 2018

Looking around at what the weather has visited upon us, I recall as a child how I delighted in the fresh landscape of new snow. Deep snow was a rarity where I lived, and a particular treat. There was a trackless, untouched quality, pristine and wonderful. The muffled woods around our house, the unmarked open fields of snow, all gave us a profound sense of renewal.

Certainly there was the joy of being out of school, but it was so much more. There was the thrill to be the first to sled the big hill, or to make the perfect snowman, to get to make the first tracks down the street. All things were perfect again and fresh and new. Such a moment is something we can’t create or direct to happen. It is a gift. Dropped right out of the sky.

Have you ever looked back and realized that the path you had taken, or the things you had done, were not what you would have wanted? Not that you wish you had done some particular activity better, but that you had been a better person along the way? Far more than the nice/naughty list, there is a character question that follows us. The deeper nature of who we are is seen in the tracks we take and the impact we make. But do we like what we see?

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I am reminded of the ancient Israelite king, David. His life was off course, and he was confronted about it by a friend. Upon seeing how out of line he was, he cried out to God (Psalm 51:7), “Purify me from my sins and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” He recognized his choices and character needed help, and he couldn’t do it alone. He needed God to give him a fresh start. He needed God’s mercy, grace and peace.

The weeks before Christmas are a season of realizing our ache, need, and longing for the peace that only God can provide. We can’t create it or direct it to happen. It is a gift. Dropped right out of the sky.

It’s not just at Christmas. It’s not just with a snowfall. Whatever we wish we had done differently, every day God invites us to experience a fresh start. Like a fresh-fallen snow, we get to start again. Grace and Peace be with you.

REV. MICHAEL KENDALL is lead pastor of Farmville United Methodist Church. His email address is mkendall@farmvilleumc.org.