Shoveling Snow -- By Joseph J. Mazzella

"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope." (Romans 5:3,4)

I woke up the other day to find that 10 inches of freshly fallen snow was waiting for me outside my door. The flakes were still falling heavily too. I didn’t want my little dogs drowning in it, so I reluctantly pulled on my heavy coat and grabbed the snow shovel to make a path. I had only gotten a bit done, however, when the handle of my old snow shovel broke with a "snap." Laughing and shaking my head I decided then and there to wait out the storm for awhile.

It was late in the afternoon when the snow finally stopped and I trudged over to my Dad’s house to borrow his shovel and try again. By then the 10 inches of snow had turned into a foot and a half. I started out slow setting a steady pace and stopping to rest whenever my back started to ache. After a while, though, the clouds finally broke and the sun peeked out to cheer me on. The work seemed a lot easier then even though it was warmer. I even sang a few Christmas carols and smiled up at God while I cleared out the drives, cleaned off the cars, and shoveled out the paths. After an hour of hard work the job was finally done. Laughing, I let the child that still lives inside of me fall back into the snow and make a snow angel for the angels in Heaven to see. It felt good walking back to my house after a job well done. It felt even better looking around at this wonderful world of white. But it felt best of all knowing that God and His angels were watching over me with a love that passes all understanding.

I don’t know why life sometimes gives us Spring days and sometimes dumps a ton of snow on us. I do know, however, that we can pray, laugh, love, and choose joy through it all. God loves us always. He comforts our souls and warms our hearts on the coldest Winter days. He laughs with us when our snow shovels break and smiles down on us when we make a snow angel. He is with us forever and that is the greatest Christmas present of all.

Joseph J. Mazzella