I am rarely as impressed by the power of God in his creation as I am when experiencing extreme weather. I had a pretty good sleep last night but awakened to the violent shaking of the rectory roof. Yesterday was a lovely day with a high temperature of -8C. It was foggy in the morning, our only alert that a big weather system was going to bring in some kind of change for the worse, but by afternoon the sun was shining, the road conditions were improving and it was quite lovely for an end of January day. The members of our parish council were all able to drive into town and return home quite safely. What a great day all around.
This morning the weather has changed again and the fascinating weather, despite the difficulties it creates for us sometimes, is one of the things I truly do love about living on the prairies. We have thick falling snow this morning, a steady wind of 40k and huge gusts of up to 60k....about every 3 seconds!! The highway warnings are all ready posted on the internet and radio broadcasts as the snow swirls and sticks to the road in thick clumpy drifts with icy patches hidden underneath the curling edges of those drifts as the snow eddies across the highways. The temperature has dropped to -21C and will continue to drop throughout the day to a bone rattling -35C by this evening.
It is a wonderful week for my husband to be off work for his little post-Christmas break. We are storm stayed for a day or 2 at least, we can't go anywhere between weather and my dental recovery, it is too stormy to even bother going downtown for any errands until tomorrow or the next day......or the day after that. We have plenty of food in the house, our bird feeders outside are well stocked with seeds and nuts and fresh water, the furnace and humidifier are working well. I am learning that despite the inconveniences sometimes, being storm stayed for a few days can have its advantages. My husband and I will be able to rest without that edgy guilt thing that we both have if we are not working or doing ministry every single minute of every day....pretty interesting that although it is God himself who created Sabbath rest, we his people continually fall for the lies of our own culture that tell us any time spent not producing something tangible is wasted. It is a constant battle in our house. To be honest I am not sure just how relaxed my husband will be this week. However we have learned to our detriment in times past that deciding to "just use today, only today of my time off work, to catch up on those administrative emails so I can relax" never brings the expected relaxation. Instead it just increases the mental turmoil in a ministry that is never going to be "caught up". It is the nature of the job.
So it will be an interesting 5 days. While I have idyllic visions of 5 days of peace, joy, relaxation and rest, I suspect it is going to be torturous for my husband to be at home, 20 feet away from the church office where so many administrative tasks await. It will be an exercise in discipline for him to turn his mind to other tasks around the house and to rest for his body and mind.
May the God of the Sabbath assist him, with the same power as the raging elements outside, to sit back and clear the work cobwebs from his tired mind so that he can return to work with his usual energy and enthusiasm in order to accomplish all that needs doing in a reasonable amount of time.
God of the Sabbath. God of the storm. God of one extreme to the other and everything in between.
Our God is an awesome God.