Snow, Silence & Joy

snow in backyardOn this third Sunday of Advent it is snowing once again in the mountains of eastern Kentucky.  The theme for this particular Sunday in Advent is joy.  Although the joy is supposed to be for the coming of Christ at Bethlehem long ago, I have a feeling there are lots of kids feeling joy right now realizing it is unlikely they’ll have to go to school the next few days.

I know snow can be messy and dangerous but I love it.  It is so beautiful!  Things are rather dreary around here unless it snows so I look forward to times like these.  We are supposed to get several inches of snow over the next couple of days.  Like the kids I’m hoping we get lots, just for different reasons–I love photographing in the snow!

Several years ago I remember reading a sermon where the writer talked about how snow does its work silently.  You can go to bed at night and wake up the next morning with several inches of snow on the ground but it is unlikely you would have heard a thing.  You would have had no warning.  Snow works quietly.

In the spiritual life there is much need for quietness.  In fact, the prophet Isaiah said “in quietness and trust is your strength.” (30:15)  Noise and lots of action tends to characterize most of our lives.  Certainly there is a time and place for both, but there is also a great need for us to spend time in silence and being still.  God himself says to us, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalms 46:10)  I think the reason He told us this is that it is next to impossible to get to know God unless we do take the time to practice stillness in our lives.  In times of solitude and stillness we find the strength we need to live the spiritual life.

The snow that is falling outside my window now offers me a needed reminder—even in this busy and hectic time of the year I need to find time to “be still” and quiet so that I might experience God more fully and find my strength renewed.  By doing so I suspect I will also discover joy.

–Chuck

(I took the picture above at my home last week.)