Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

Well, Northeast Missouri got hit with a snowstorm, a small ice storm, and a big ice storm in the space of 5 days.

I am sort of "the champion of snow removal" at Trinity, for lack of a better term. Our congregation is so small, it makes no sense to hire this out. I enjoy doing it; the only problem is that I have to squeeze it in to either my day off, or before/after work. Simply to prepare for Sunday's service in this mess took three sessions with the snow shovel from about an hour to an hour and 45 minutes each, and three trips to lay down ice melt, including coming in early before services. Then, on top of that, I spent most of my day off pulling off MORE ice on Tuesday, for a Lessons and Carols that eventually got cancelled.

It is one of those things that, when it happens perfectly, no one notices. If it doesn't happen, EVERYONE notices. When people walk up the steps on a Sunday, they don't notice a thing if the steps are clean; they only notice if it's slick.

Sometimes I get down on myself because I don't have the "usual" church service talents. I can't read music. My singing voice has elements of a lighthouse foghorn. I sound silly praying out loud. But I am a dynamo when it comes to snow and ice removal, spackling cracks on the wall, unclogging the sinks or toilet, etc. The problem is, of course, they are all gifts that when done properly, no one notices. It is their LACK that is conspicuous. There is hell-raising when it hasn't happened, and very little attention of any sort when it does. It doesn't carry intrinsic satisfaction except to me, and to the vicar, because Wallace is about the only person who is ever physically "in the neighborhood" when it is happening, and because the vicarage is next door, so he benefits from the snow removal, and he sees my truck when I'm there. He also knows I personally don't care to be publicly recognized for it, and respects that. It just embarrasses me. But it doesn't stop him from thanking me personally with this wonderful earnestness he has.

Why would a person obviously choose a task that has a built-in thanklessness to it? I guess the way to look at that one, is "put yourself in God's shoes." I'm sure at times, as we bounce around our plane of existence, God puts his mark on us, and we never noticed. Perhaps it's the absence that we notice. Take, for instance, our own personal prayer time. There are times it just flows for me, and I don't even think about what all complicated things are happening at the metaphysical level to make that happen. But in those times I feel separated from God because of my own sins, or my weariness, or my inability to put my attention into the matter, I notice the gap. I like to imagine that even God gets frustrated with us, however it is a metaphysical being shows frustration...sort of this patient parental frustration when your child seems a little on the "slow" side at getting a concept.

I also like to imagine that God is "pleased" (again, however it is metaphysical beings show pleasure) when we notice that all this stuff happened around us, without any input from us...and like me, God doesn't care for us to make a public gush of affection about it. He'd prefer we just thank Him personally and earnestly.

So one of my "preparations" this year for Advent is to think about what happens in detail when God makes things "seamless" for us. Not a bad topic for reflection!


Thanks for this. You taught me a lesson - or maybe gave me a reminder - here: I am bad at saying thank you to God. I so want to avoid the gush that I pretty well avoid the thanks.

I'm so greatful for living in no-sno Florida!!

Y'all have Happy Holidays!!



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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