[Calvary Chapel] 2003-02-20 - Snow Shovels

Heb 13:20-21 Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21 equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (NAS)

I got a fresh reminder of the blizzard of '96 this weekend. New Jersey was gifted with more than 20 inches of snow. Now, for some of you that is not a big deal. Around here most things stop when that much snow hits. The snow ended early on Monday and the job of digging out started in earnest.

This time around my two sons are old enough to help me. They did great. This is not just a proud dad talking. They dug with me for about four hours with almost no complaining. Two sidewalks, a driveway and two cars later we were feeling pretty tired but victorious. The interesting thing about having more hands to do the work is needing more tools. We had three shovels, one of which was an actual snow shovel. The other two were a garden shovel and a spade. Neither of the latter are designed to do well in snow, but that was what we had.

I gave the better two shovels to the boys and they had at it. I went to work with the spade. I found it very good at chipping ice. But there was not much ice and it required several passes to move as much snow as one good snow shovel scoop. There was really nothing to do about it but to keep going.

The walks were cleared and the mouth of the driveway was appearing. I had directed my older son to start clearing off the cars, one of which was almost totally buried. So I had moved up to the garden shovel and was making better progress. We hacked away the biggest part of what the snow plows had pushed into the driveway. We turned to tackle the driveway and my younger son said, "You take the snow shovel Dad. You have the bigger muscles." Well if that doesn't put starch in your sails, nothing will. The snow shovel was great at taking big hunks of driveway snow at a clip. The difference was impressive. As darkness approached we borrowed another snow shovel from a neighbor. We got the second car freed up and the area cleared just before night fell.

I was struck by a few things. At different stages of the work I was better and better equipped to move snow. At the beginning I attacked the task with enthusiasm, but was not well equipped for the job. Finally I was working with the tool that was intended for the task. The results improved as the equipment improved. Doesn't this resemble the Christian life? As brand new or young Christians we are not always well equipped, but what enthusiasm! It is clear they have something special to share and anyone with ears is going to hear it. As we learn more about Jesus and the faith we have accepted the heavy lifting often begins. Helping and teaching others as they grow becomes part of the work. Perhaps not brimming with excitement, but still contributing often in more than one way with quiet strength.

As night approaches we need to recognize the differences in our equipping. Let the enthusiasm and energy share the message. Teach them more and watch the excitement grow and focus. Just like a body or a team, every part or every player has a job to do. If everyone focuses on their task and works together toward the goal the job of reaching the world for Christ before night falls will be achieved. Each one who accepts Christ as Savior will be worth the effort. The work will not be easy at times, but once night falls and the door of salvation closes there will be no help for those left behind.

Grab a shovel. Join the victory.

Grace & Peace,

[email mike] jmhoskins@gmail.com