I am writing this a week and a half ago as we get our first real snowfall for the year, and it is only November 15th. Thanksgiving is as early as it can be and with this early snow it feels like we skipped through Fall in just a few weeks and are already in winter. In some ways it seems to have many biblical parallels: we can seek for one thing and get another; or that we see dramatic events take place and consider they are telling us of impending doom; or they complained that John the Baptist was too severe, and then they complained that Jesus drank and celebrated, nothing went as people wanted and expected them to. Hopefully we have a biblical reaction to it, that no matter what the circumstances, we are called to stay faithful, and to trust that God is with us.
I know already last night I was with some people and heard remembrances of the snowstorm in St. Louis in 1982. It was a difficult and challenging event, but it was also very memorable in good ways. People helping one another, knowing how they do deal with hardships, how others helped out, that eventually the snow did stop and the streets were cleared. We didn’t have control of it, couldn’t have changed it from happening. But we can learn from it, realizing things that are really important and those that aren’t, and realize how we can be prepared for it a little better if it happens again.
So many things in our lives are beyond our control. We can seem to spend so much time worrying about them and trying to control them, or we can realize that drastic events will happen, that winter will come, longer some years than others, but we can’t do anything about that (and I’m not trying to talk about causes for global warming here or make references to Game of Thrones). What we can do is consider how we are preparing ourselves, and how we face the challenges that do come in our lives. Next week we begin a new liturgical year with the beginning of Advent. We know we will have Christmas again and Easter. They may not be exactly as we plan, or how we celebrated them other years, but Christ did come, and he suffered and died for us, that we may follow him to heaven. We know the commandments he gave us and that it will be challenging at times, but this is how we are called to live.
I like to have a longer Fall myself, but I can also enjoy the snow. As winter comes a bit earlier than usual hopefully we are prepared for the challenges that may bring, but most importantly know that God is with us through this and whatever may come.