The world is filled with lessons, isn’t it? We think that we know where we are going; we make plans; we are strategic in our thinking and our actions, and then, all of a sudden, something happens that reminds us just how silly our hubris can be. There’s an old Yiddish proverb that states:
“Der mentsh trakht un Got lakht. – People plan and God laughs”
When we looked out of our windows yesterday morning and saw the snow piling up, many of realized that, no matter how important we thought we were – no matter what vital business lay on our desks, the simple facts that 2 inches of snow was falling every hour and that the howling winds were blowing meant that we weren’t going anywhere. All we could do was bow our heads and accept our fate. We were not and are not in control.
What a vital perspective we can gain when we are put in our places!
Let us pray:
God who causes winds to blow and snow to fall;
God of the storm and God of the quiet;
All too often it is sometimes hard to believe that there is something greater than ourselves. We live in a society that places supreme importance on the works of our hands and the words of our mouths. We love to celebrate our own accomplishments and cherish the accolades that come with achievement.
But we also know that our creativity is only a pale reflection of Your Creation. Our very nature is a result of Your nurturing.
While we often are frustrated when we face obstacles that emerge unexpectedly, we need to learn that control is an illusion and that order is the exception not the rule.
Help us O God to live with patience, so that we can see our limitations as opportunities to learn and teach others. We thank You for the gift of perspective helps us to see beyond ourselves.
While we are sheltered from the storm, let us remember that there are all too many men, women and children who are caught in its icy grip; for whom every day is a challenge:
- not to create but to survive;
- not to achieve but to keep from being deceived.
As You teach us our limitations, let us also see our strengths and the power that we have – especially those in this sacred chamber – to provide hope for those who face obstacles every day.
We thank you for the warmth of the sun that melts away the ice of yesterday.
We thank you for the warmth of human kindness and compassion that can help us to combat the uncertainties of life.
You are our shelter. You are our teacher.