Thursday, July 21, 2011

Well, You See, There Was This Blizzard ...

FYI:  This is a blog post I wrote back in February but never actually posted it.  (We were more than just a bit busy back then.)  As I was doing some clean up today, I ran across this and decided to go ahead and throw it on the blog.  Plus, it's just plain fun to look at that much snow right now when it's been so hot here.

Blizzard 2011 is in the books.  Don't get me wrong, there is still plenty of snow around.  Parking lots still have huge piles of the white stuff. In fact, there were numerous high school students who didn't have places to park this week because snow piles have taken up about 100 spaces.  There is still snow in our driveway where the snowplows continued to pile it up behind our teenager's truck.  And our house faces North, so ice and snow are still present on our roof.  But the blizzard itself, the Dale's-car-couldn't-make-it-through-the-snow storm, the we-missed-three-days-of-school storm, the businesses-were-closed-and-streets-were-deserted storm, that storm is over.

I took some pictures, and there is certainly a lot of snow in the pictures.  But as I looked at them today, the snow doesn't seem as deep or dangerous as it did last week.  And you certainly can't tell from the pictures how cold it was.  A quick picture, a snapshot of a moment in time, does not give you all the information you need to really know what is going on in that situation.

I think we too often settle for snapshots of people's lives.  We catch up with a friend at the grocery store, we see a friend smiling at church, we read a status update on a social connection website, and we think we're all caught up on what's going on.  What if those snapshots don't tell the whole story?  Is what your friend shared with you at the grocery store really the most significant thing going on in her life right now?  Can a smile be a cover for a hurting heart?  Are your friends really that real in their status updates?

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not advocating that we share every intimate detail of our lives with everyone we know.  And the grocery store isn't really the place to purge one's soul.  I'm just saying that we cannot believe we know the depth of the pain, joy, loneliness, anxiety, heartache, exhilaration, etc. that someone is going through when we catch up in snapshots.

I made a commitment to be transparent in meaningful ways, and the blizzard reminded me of that.  I sat and talked with my mom for hours (well, we giggled a bunch, too), I spent time with my soon-to-be-gone soldier, I watched TV with my 2 younger boys, I even had a day with Dale home in the middle of the week.  I was reminded, once again, of what really matters to me:

I just cannot believe that any amount of money I ever make or work I ever do will be as important as the relationships I have in my life.

So there it is.  No great revelation, nothing I haven't said a million times.  Just another tool God used to remind me about what is really important ... and what really isn't.