Baby, It’s Cold Outside

This is a post I wrote when I lived in NYC during that long cold winter that lasted until, like, May or so. In light of my icicles – er, friends – in the North, I thought I’d post this again, a nostalgic rumination of my foray into the -22 degree world that was my home at that time…

I know it’s colder in other places. Truly, I do. But when it gets cold enough, cold is just cold.

It’s cold enough. Seriously.

I’ve only been colder one time in my life, and that was a 30 hour foray into midwestern Canada. I would say hats off to you guys, but my head would freeze.

But, sharing my morning with you, I leave my apartment and think it’s not that bad. After the first 5 steps, I realize that it really is that bad. It. Is. Cold. The wind is tearing across my face, and my toes went numb. And I still had 5 more blocks to get to the subway. I didn’t exactly black out, but I really don’t remember a lot of the walk, except for the fact that I suddenly started to feel a little warmer as I approached the subway entrance. Not exactly a good thing – frostbite was coming to mind. In case you are wondering, there is a point where snot freezes, by the way. I know you were curious.

So I descend the subway steps, grateful to be in a warmer place, and as I’m standing there waiting for my train, I realize something odd.

I can still see my breath. A good twenty degrees warmer, and I can still see my breath. It’s cold.

So, I get on the train and thaw out, then get off at my stop, and it’s cold, but I’m thinking, it’s not as bad as I remember. It really can’t be. Then I come up to street level and realize that it really is as bad as I thought. I walk two blocks (face and snot frozen), and at the bus stop, I wonder if it’s worth risking frostbite again and waiting for the bus, or if I should walk the 5 blocks. Did I mention that I had a herniated disc? My back said “Bloody no, we are not walking.” Okay. Fortunately, a bus comes, but starts to pass the stop. 3 others flag it down, while I’m just thinking “findahappyplace, findahappyplace, findahappyplace.” I get on the bus, ride to my destination, and waddle to the entrance (my legs have frozen stiff by this point).

And that is what subzero is like in NYC. Baby, it’s cold outside.

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When a picture means more than you intended…

So, I was at the grocery store the other day, and I had a very small list of things to pick up, all unrelated. And then I saw a sale and picked up one extra thing. I’m in my own little world, and I put my items on the belt. The husband of the couple in front of me glances at the items, does a double take, then smiles real nervously at me and looks away. I blankly look at my items, then start chuckling. The stories that could be told from a few items! Go ahead, caption this (the white box are straws) …

Gideon’s 300

This story really gripped me the other day, and I had a lot of thoughts about it. Take a few minutes and read it, so you can follow along with me (Judges 7):

So, he started off with 32,000 men, and God whittled it down to something He could work with. But as I wander along the paths of this, so many things come to mind.

Like, when God calls this “mighty man”, he’s hiding in a wine-press. There’s a potential in so many of us and when God calls it out of us, we have the choice to remain hidden, or actually do what He’s asking us to do. And sometimes, just sometimes, we have a general idea of what He wants, and we have to figure out the plan “as we go”, as it were.

And I think about the people who Gideon gathered and were later dismissed. Did Gideon mess up? Should he have waited for the direction to call out just those 300 people? Did he get ahead of what God wanted to do in gathering the people together? I was pondering on that, and actually wondered if the process is where God wanted to go, and He used this instance to take care of a whole lot of other lessons. Like making sure that these men knew that they were wanted to fight, maybe, regardless if they ended up in the battle. But also maybe that they needed to know that it was okay to be afraid, and God still valued them, maybe. And maybe that bravery also looks like taking care of their family and their land, maybe, and that is just as important as fighting on the front lines. Maybe. And maybe that Gideon needed to do the work of finding this many people so that he could figure out how to lead, maybe.

We often see the obvious lessons, but what if there were other purposes to what God was doing? And how can we trust and be obedient to what God is calling us when we don’t understand all the facets, maybe, of what He wants to teach and accomplish? Because maybe, it’s about more than just us.