Today’s Musing reflects back on a very unusual weekend. For one, I was supposed to have been with a group of youth on a ski trip in the mountains of North Carolina, but poor road conditions forced us to cancel the trip. (Yes, we were snowed out of a ski trip!) And then it snowed a lot (at least for us in Knoxville) Friday night, so the whole weekend was spent mostly at home. I did venture down to church on Sunday morning, to see who might show up for worship. Since I had already planned on having someone else preach for me on this day, I went down to the church with no worries or rushed plans. So, with that summary of events of the weekend, here are some musings:
1. Snow changes the pace of our days. Yes, the kids played like crazy in the snow, at least until they got cold and wanted to come in. And because of the crazy pace of our kids’ playing in the snow, when they did come in from the snow, they were tired. ie, they didn’t bug us that they were “bored”. So it gave my wife and me some good quiet down time, with her studying in peace and me reading Kathleen Norris’ Dakota without any TV blaring.
2. Snow changes the pace of our walks. When we all went on walks around the neighborhood with the kids, the pace was very slow. My son was determined to throw snowballs at everything that wouldn’t throw something back (the stop sign was a favorite target), and my daughter slowed down even more than her normal slow pace, so that she could hear the crunch of every step she took and could look back at the footprint she had just made. As much as I wanted to hurry around the block with the dogs and kids, to get back inside, I was forced to slow my pace. It made me enjoy the scenery for a change.
3. Snow changes the pace of our worship. Because I wasn’t “on” to preach, and because I knew that only a handful of folks would gather for worship, my whole Sunday time at church was different. Only 15 people showed up (more than I thought we would have), but we decided that we would follow our order of worship anyway. (By “anyway”, I mean without the organist/pianist and without the little communion cups prepared just so). I served as worship leader, but without all the cluster of notes that I usually have with me. No written prayers, so I had to “wing” them. I even changed a couple hymns that we were supposed to sing, because I had no idea about the ones in the bulletin (I don’t pick out the hymns on Sunday). As we passed the peace, all 15 of us all greeted one another with God’s peace. At communion time, we invited everyone to come forward to take communion by intinction (and not with the Chicklet wafers and small plastic shot glasses of juice, but with a full loaf and filled cup). My friend Heather preached a wonderfully-thoughtful sermon, on how Jesus’ home church at first welcomes him but then turns against him. It was good to reflect during a sermon rather than keep talking on and on, as I do most Sundays. No, I wouldn’t want to worship like this every Sunday, but the change of pace brought on by snow brought about a morning of grace-filled worship.
This morning I am back at it. The snow is melting, I got a sermon next Sunday that I will need to start working on, my wife will be slammed with schoolwork and my kids will soon be “bored”. But even if it doesn’t snow this weekend, I hope that I can seek out ways to change the pace once again.