Saturday, January 22, 2011


I spent some of this beautiful, sunny (but cold!) winter day clearing the ice from the end of my road. The ice that covered the street in front of my house had melted in the direct sun, but the end of the road is a shaded hill that ends with a stop sign before exiting the subdivision onto the secondary road.

Snow shovel over my shoulder, I walked to the end of the street. One car stopped to ask if I was ok and needed help. I explained my need to be at work before dawn. The woman, the passenger, asked incredulously, "So, you're going to shovel the ROAD?" "yes, Ma'am".

They shrugged and drove off, and I continued my walk to the stop sign.

See, the Yankee in me had come forth. Some of the ice had melted into a slushy mess, which was easily pushed to the sides of the road. Some of the ice that was more shaded, needed some encouragement in the form of the shovel breaking it off bit by bit. But, either way, I knew: If it comes off the road now, the road will have traction early tomorrow morning. If it stays, it will refreeze with a smooth - and slippery- top layer.

As I worked, I pondered: "Is "service" done for selfish reasons still service?" I mean, honestly, if I didn't have to be out early in the morning, I'd have spent the time at home, waiting for the warmer temperatures to clear the roads.

God also did some teaching with me. As I worked, people drove up and down the hill. Some of them waived, a few of them looked at me like I'd lost my mind. I'm sure one or two were thinking I was foolish and didn't know that it would likely be cleared by the sun the next day.

I wondered how many times I'd judged peoples actions without knowing the complete story.

Toward the end of my time there, I noticed that the cars had found the patch of cleared road, and lined their tires up in the grooves. I smiled. It had helped someone besides myself...

I'm sure I will be "a little" sore after completing the task, but I am also sure I will rest better knowing my chances of navigating the drive to work will be significantly improved.

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