Saturday, January 14, 2006

Lessons from the Farm:Spiritual Insights from Rural Life.

Snow on the Mountain:Transforming Moments with The Transformer

My children have been watching, dreaming, wishing, even singing about snow for two months now. Finally, last night, it arrived, and this morning our mountain is carpeted in white.

One morning, about five years ago, I saw the most beautiful snow I have ever witnessed. It came as a total surprise. I suppose the weather experts had been predicting it, but I hadn’t been listening, and waking to the drama of that bright white blanket across our farm caught me unsuspecting. Literally, I gasped when I looked out the window.

It was deeper than the one of last night. Five to six inches layered the ground. Not all snow is the same. This was "fluffy" snow that stacked high but lightly upon the branches. There was no wind. Motionless. Silent. Magical.

The kids and I pulled plastic trash can lids, a toboggan and a disk-sleigh up the hill behind the house. The neighbor kids came too. That hill is short, but steep so what we loose in distance is more than made up for in speed. Yeah baby!

For half the morning we slid and tumbled, laughed and climbed up again and again. So fun.

Our runway began to wear thin so, I walked around the hill in search of a fresh spot. That’s when I happened on the most incredible sight in all my life. The sun lifting over the mountain across from me, the gently rocking wind, the temperature striking some precisely perfect point, and the snow balancing on the brink of transformation merged. For what could not have been more than a few seconds, millions upon millions of icy prisms lit in multi-colored unison. The entire mountain flashed and shimmered. Everything: the rocks, the trees, the rooftops, even the ground, twinkled!

I stopped and stared, gripped in awe.

Honestly, it was too amazing to be described. Even in my memory it is difficult to fully recapture that moment. However, I clearly recall the words which-- though coming from my mouth I cannot claim them as my own-- voluntarily rose as a whisper across my lips, “Ohh. God, you are so amazing.”

I worshipped on that mountain. I think it was to some tiny degree like what Moses experienced on Sinai or what Peter felt on the mount of transfiguration--an almost involuntary response to a sudden glimpse of the majesty of God.

All too quickly, however, the sun shifted its angle, the temperature passed its point of perfection, the beauty dimmed and I was returned to my mountain with kids squealing and sleds scooting. Today’s snow isn’t even in the same league as that one, but snow on the mountain has ever since jogged my memory and revived that special experience.

Scripture says that though our sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). I think the Scriptures must be referring (and if not, then at least for me personally it is the case) to snow more akin to that special moment on my mountain than to today’s thin blanket. For He does make my life (anyone’s life) glisten, shimmer, radiate, and worship a God who is so amazing.

From now on, maybe we should all be as anxious for snow as our kids. Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it SNOW!

1 comment:

Patty said...

Oh, Steve, I can just see it! Isn't it fun when God surprises us with tiny moments of wonder? Enjoy your snow day with the family.