Thursday, March 01, 2007

Weather and Ministry

Remember the winter storm we had a week or so ago? I love snow, but whether you like the winter weather or not, I have found it to be one of the best ministry opportunities that we can have as followers of Christ. My son had a friend over and the two of them shoveled my driveway. As a reward, I took them to lunch. On the way home we stopped to pick up Rick and Beth Bernhardt’s boys so they could hang out at our house. Getting up their driveway was impossible. When we got back home, I quickly shoveled the slush that was still on my driveway. When I finished I was completely sweaty (which I hate) and my back was killing me (after all, I’m use to a desk job…not manual labor).

My greatest desire at the moment was a nice hot shower. However, I couldn’t get Rick’s driveway out of my mind. The Spirit was specifically prompting me to drive back over to Rick’s and help him shovel his driveway. I momentarily considered this prompting and then deliberately chose to disobey it. I asked my wife to start some coffee and I headed up to the shower. Unfortunately, it was the most horrible shower I have ever taken. I felt only guilt over not following the prompting of God’s Spirit. I climbed out of the shower, dried off, and putting my winter clothes back on, headed for the door. I told my wife I was going to bypass the coffee she had just brewed because of the guilt I felt.

As I headed towards Rick’s, I passed a single mom neighbor of mine shoveling her long driveway. We have been trying to build a bridge to her. Now the Spirit redirected me. It was as if he were saying, “Forget Rick…help this single mom.” I pulled over and hopped out with my shovel and aided her. When I finished, I thought it was finally time to enjoy that shower but now the Spirit prompted me again about Rick. I drove over to Rick’s and we started on his driveway. Fortunately, before we had gotten too far, his dad was able to get a hold of someone he knew who was on his way over with a plow to finish the job.

As I got back home I saw that the township plow was making its rounds in our neighborhood. As soon as he was done with our street I would need to re-shovel out the end of the drive so I waited on the shower. After the plow was finished I headed out to shovel only to discover someone stuck in the snow. I grabbed my son and his friend and we quickly played Good Samaritan and pushed him out of his situation. I then shoveled the heavy and icy boulders that the plow had left in front of my drive. While I was shoveling, I spoke to a couple walking up the street. They told me that their car was stuck at the top of the hill. After I finished my drive, the Spirit prompted me again. “What about that couple?” I headed up to help them. Afterwards I was ready for that shower. But then the Spirit prompted me again. “What about the widow who lives next door to you?” So I headed over and shoveled out the end of her driveway as well.

As I prepared to go to bed that night, I was more sore than I can ever remember being. Every muscle hurt. Was it worth it? It’s always worth it when you obey the promptings of the Spirit. It’s called “servant evangelism” and it is powerful. And when the wintry weather hits, the opportunities expand. That’s another good reason to love snow.

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