How can we warm others if we have no fire in our own heart? 

“Weather” we like it or not, winter is here in the Northeast.  The cold seems determined to stay and snow continues to visit and pile up.  The voice of spring seems too distant to be heard. As I drive around during this season, I’ve noticed many of the roadways have taken a real beating. With all the salting, sanding, and plowing that’s necessary to get us through this winter, some serious restoration and maintenance will be necessary.  There is no doubt….If my car had a mind of it’s own, I believe it would vote to sit in my driveway rather than be subjected to the holes, bumps, and potholes of merely going somewhere.

If we’re not careful, our attitude can be similar to my imagined car.  Our way gets unflavored, people get abrasive (even the ones we’re closest to), and we literally get plowed over by the challenges of merely living.  When storms and conditions of life come our way, sometimes it seems safer and wiser to park ourselves or even go in reverse rather than drive forward.  Fortunately, friends, we are vastly different than any fantasized car with a mind of its own that chooses to simply park.  This hopeful difference is what we’d like to focus on today.

A car can’t think, discern, make good judgments or act on its own… and guess what?.. We can!   We are aware that no one lives life without trials, storms, pot holes and changing seasons.  As a kind of vehicle, we are designed with purpose and potential, and powerfully equipped with marvelous mental, emotional, social, economic, and spiritual capacities.  For us, it is possible to go the right way, do the right thing, avoid pitfalls, overcome roadblocks, and do it in a timely manner.  So….

Let’s get ready to move forward this week with the right perspective; in a spirit of hope and victory, eliminating any consideration to vote for the parking space of fear.  Let’s put these three essential things in mind (under our hood).  1. We’ll move in the right direction avoiding as many pot holes as we can  2. We’ll maintain ourselves along the way by keeping clean of poorly flavored thoughts, abrasive relationships, and by appreciating and protecting the assets we already have and 3.  We’ll equip ourselves with a plow of encouragement, both for ourselves and for others…so the fear in traveling alone is never an option.

Off we go, family and friends!  Rev up our engines—winter is here and spring may not be immediate but there’s a season of hope ahead for us this week. There isn’t a pothole we can’t avoid, a situation we can’t improve, a person we can’t forgive, and a life we can’t be grateful to live.

Psalm 118:24