Slipping

Slipping, Sliding and Shoveling is Good News for Snowmobilers

Ed, my neighbor next door, was happy this past week because he wanted more snow for his snowmobiling, and he got it. While some of us did not want the slipping, sliding and shoveling that new snow falls bring, my neighbor was excited and happy. Ed’s love of winter has not been contagious in my case.

My neighbor cannot understand why everyone doesn’t appreciate winter. I tell him walking and driving are challenging in the winter. Ed forgets that if some of our seniors slip on ice or hard packed snow we will not get up without a sprain or a break. My neighbor needs to remember, that we old timers shatter like glass rather than bounce like a rubber ball. Shoveling snow can be a hazard to our health. For some seniors, winter is like a jail sentence because they are not able to be out and about in the snow and cold. Some folks even slip and slide into depression as one winter day gives way to another.

A mere moment of carelessness on winter roads and sidewalks can lead to a minor or major mishap. Most seniors try to watch and be extra careful in the winter because winter weather conditions demand it. Even so, stumbling, slipping and falling can happen in spite of our vigilance. Winter accidents often happen and not always to other people. The season of Lent reminds all Christians that those who think that they are sure-footed in faith may tumble and fall into temptation and sin. Winter leaves little room for smugness for the weather can turn from fine to dangerous quickly. The state of our Christian life can go from solid to broken quickly. Most will agree that there is the reality of careless or dangerous driving for the winter road conditions that are present. Not so many Christians will admit to the actuality of inattentive and reckless living by Christians in their walk of faith.

On the Mount of Olives, Jesus said to his disciples, “You will all fall away.” Peter declared that even if all fall away, I will not. Jesus warned Peter that before the night was over that Peter would deny him three times. Peter was too smug to listen. He insisted that he would never disown Jesus even if he had to die with Jesus. All the other disciples said the same thing. When they went on to Gethsemane, Jesus asked the disciples to watch and pray while he wrestled with God in prayer, and they fell asleep. Jesus returned three times from his praying to find his disciples asleep. The disciples pledged their faithfulness to Jesus, but there is always a big gap between our words and our actions. The rest of the story is that Judas one of his disciples betrayed Jesus for money and brought the soldiers to arrest Jesus. Judas identified Jesus with a kiss. When the soldiers arrested Jesus, all the disciples deserted Jesus except for Peter, who followed at a distance and then denied knowing Jesus three times before morning dawned.

Lent is a church season that calls Christians to recognize their personal smugness towards Jesus. We need to confess our own deserting, denying and disowning of Jesus and break down and weep.

 

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Raymond Maher
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