I woke up on Monday to a world of undisturbed snow. Me and the dog are up early, so we get to be the first footprints up and down the sidewalk. On this morning the snow was thick and wet. It crunched under every footfall. This snow would be good for throwing snowballs and making snowmen. 

It was sleeting as I walked, and by the time I got home I looked like Yukon Cornelius. I shook off the ice and checked the weather. It told me that the next few days would be hovering right around freezing. For those of us raised in the north, we know this is bad news. This means thawing and freezing. This means invisible ice and falling on our butts. 

I was tired, and I wanted to take off my coat and boots and sit on the couch under a warm blanket. But that crunchy wet snow was gonna get wetter when the sleet turned to rain. And when that slushy mess froze, it would be much more difficult to deal with. So I went back outside, grabbed my trusty shovel, and went to work. 

The snow was heavy. I couldn’t even shovel it under the railing of the deck. It became one solid piece too quickly. I had to lift up over the railing with every single load. As I worked, the sweat of my hair mixed with the sweat of the falling sleet. I worked my way down the walkway and then turned down the sidewalk towards my neighbor’s house. I cleared our sidewalks, porch, deck, and a path to the car and garage. Then I went back home to enjoy the reward of work well done. 

But I wouldn’t know the actual benefit of those thirty minutes until the next day (today). I got up early, geared up for the cold, and took out the dog for our morning walk. I walked out onto a porch that was clear of snow and then down a path that was safe and secure. Walking down the sidewalk was uneventful until we got to sidewalks that had never been cleared. These sidewalks had footprints frozen into them which caused very difficult walking. As I walked, I had to navigate uneven terrain on my ever weak wounded ankle. Some sidewalks had pooled water and had become icy in the midst of their unmanaged sidewalks. I almost went down once. I didn’t realize there was ice and almost got laid out. 

After walking on much dangerous terrain, I came back to my block. I and my neighbors had all cleared our walks, so I could once again walk without fear in relative safely. 

That final block of safe walking reminded me of a truth Christ has taught me a hundred times and I was seeing lived out once again. “What a man sows that shall he also reap.” It is crazy how a small thing left to itself can become such a complicated problem. That sidewalk was a good 30 minutes of effort, but it allows my mailman, my kids, my dog, and myself to have safe travel to and from our home. We sowed a little and reaped so much in return.

I have gotten bit by this truth many times. I once ignored a small leak in my basement for 4 years until the day I opened the basement door to see standing water downstairs. When I finally investigated, it turned out to be a $50 fix. I could have saved years of puddles with 2 hours and $50 of materials. Instead, I let a small problem become a big problem. 

As you take care of the things you have been entrusted with, be satisfied in the knowledge that your faithfulness is creating future peace and safety. I know chores and responsibilities are weights to carry. But these burdens bring many blessings. To us and to those we love. Bear them well friends. 

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