Growing up in South Lake Tahoe, I developed a deep love for the snow and the mountains. Skiing or snowboarding on days when the snow is deep and fresh is one of my favorite things in this world. For those who enjoy snow activities, this has been a phenomenal winter. I feel blessed to enjoy these powder days and look forward to the extended ski season. Though I know many do not share my enthusiasm for the frequent storms.
I have a friend who, as he put it, has been “rage-shoveling” the snow in his driveway. This is where you throw the snow to the side of the drive, and when the wind throws it back in your face, you shout at it and angrily shovel faster. I’ve been there, too.
Driving in this weather can be annoying, inconvenient, and downright dangerous. I enjoy driving in the snow, but I did manage to get stuck in the middle of 395 on an ice berm, despite having all-wheel-drive and snow tires.
For more than half an hour, people honked, yelled, cursed, and made rude gestures, but no one stopped to help. Finally, I thought of a friend who lived nearby and had the right vehicle to tow me out, and I made the call.
This friend reminds me of Jesus more than most people I know. Not in his appearance, but in the way that he loves people. That’s what Jesus was all about. In the Gospel of Matthew, some people with bad motives tried to trap Jesus with hard questions:
One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:35-40)
They wanted to shut Jesus down with technicalities, while Jesus reminded them that the whole point of everything is to love God first, and love everyone else as an extension of that. My friend loves people like this. I have seen him stop traffic to protect an injured motorist, give away his food to a hungry stranger, and stop to check on skiers who fall in front of him on the hill.
He’s not perfect, but he’s pretty good at looking for ways to love and bless others with what he has. What if we lived like that? Seeing each moment as an opportunity to bless someone and transform their day? What if the focus wasn’t on ourselves, but more on serving someone else? I think it could change our lives and those around us. And we might show Jesus’ words to be true when he said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Brian Lucas is Co-Lead Pastor at PAX Christian Church in Gardnerville.
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