Friday, February 8, 2013

On Snowstorms and Sacrifice

Anybody whose has known me for more than five minutes knows that I love weather. Mainly exciting weather. Rumbly, bumbly, blowing, snowing, Weather Channel newsworthy sort of weather. I have been this way as long as I can remember.

The problem is that I live in a place that parcels out such weather as if it were the rarest and most precious of resources so that every few years we actually get what I consider an exciting weather event. Severe storms and snow are the nuggets most precious to me and I can find myself seething with frustration and even rage when everyone else is getting them but us. It sounds silly, but I do believe that it is a spiritual problem.

Last night I had a heart rending and quite unsettling dream. Like all my dreams, it was a jumble of familiar and unfamiliar people and places and circumstances and none of it made any sense (do dreams ever make sense?), but the crux of the matter was that someone I love dearly had accidentally run over and killed a man and might be sentenced to death for it. I knew that I needed to offer to die in her place but my emotions wouldn't get with the program.  It made all the sense in the world and it was the right thing to do, it was just the hard thing to do. I didn't want to die.

Then again, Jesus didn't want to die either. He fell to the ground and prayed and three times asked to have the cup pass from him. So even Jesus knows the anguish and raw emotion of sacrifice. 

Strangely enough, my passion for weather and my hesitance to give all for those I love have an awful lot in common. ME! It really is all about me. There is so much ME at the center of everything I do and everything I am. I want snow. I want people listening to me. I want a world according to my order. I want to control when I live and when I die. 

It is terrifying and wearying to be the god of your own universe, yet it is so hard to give it up. Everything in me claws for control. Everything in me pushes and shoves to get my needs met my way. Do I really not trust that there is a God out there who created me for so much more than this grabbing and striving and controlling and worrying and coveting and navel gazing? 

There is nothing left to do but to bring these shattered pieces of my self-centered life to Jesus. I plead for forgiveness and beg for faith to trust in the God who has my good and his glory so totally wrapped up. Dying to me and what I want is hard but so very good.

As I write this the northeast is set to get upwards of three feet of snow. Today it will be a foggy 55 degrees here. I can rest assured that God is ruling the weather pattern and I don't have to know why. In the mean time, I will wrestle with what it means to truly sacrifice for those I love without my self-centered agenda getting in the way.