Everywhere I've wanted to go for the past several days has been safely passable. On just a few occasions I have had to slow down to navigate a small icy patch, but it was quickly passed.
Since the places I've wanted to go and the things I've needed to do were alright, it's easy to think others should be able to travel well, too.
Since I've not had an injury on the ice and any cold I've felt has been the result of my choosing to go out into the cold, it's easy to think all is well for everyone since all is well for me.
Of course, all is not for many.
Unlike the snow that is still bright white after five days, our spirits quickly picked up grime after our baptisms and subsequent confessions and pardons and re-commitments. We don't have to commit a "major sin" for the grime to gather on us. The root of sin, self-centeredness, is always at work dulling our brightness.
So, what to do?
As some of us did in worship yesterday, 1.) ask God to wash you and make your soul whiter than snow (Psalm 51:7), 2.) give attention to how you will joyfully live your commitment to Christ and neighbor, 3.) prioritize the "means of grace," those gifts from God that help infuse faith and faithfulness into our lives (studying scripture, prayer, corporate worship, Holy Communion, service), and 4.) start each day from a place of love - you are loved by God and by many, let that love guide your day.
When you do, "I don't have any problems driving" becomes "I'm grateful I can get around; Lord, help those who cannot." "I'm warm and healthy" becomes "I'm grateful for my condition; Lord, how can I help those who are in danger or injured or struggling through this?"
Jesus came to save us from the pervasive sin that we can't overcome ourselves. He also came to help us reduce some of that sin by showing us what it means to consider others, to break out of our self-centered world. One way he summarized this was to command, "Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice'" (Matthew 9:13).
Having been shown mercy, how will you show it today?