Thursday, February 11, 2010

Convicted By A Shovel? What God Taught Me Today

So here I am, just 30 miles south of the Mason Dixon Line. Last Friday, we were slammed by 30+” of snow and we were blasted again yesterday with ~20” more. Everything around us is shut down (even the snow removal crews and the Post Office). The road in front of my house is still unplowed, and that is strange b/c it is considered a “high priority” road by the county (meaning it always gets plowed first).

Fortunately”, the nature of my job enables me to work from home. Frankly though, working from home is like torture for me b/c all day I hear my wife and kids playing in the house and it tears me up that I can’t be downstairs with them. I put fortunately in quotes b/c the ability to work from home also means that there is an expectation that I will actually work a full day from home and there won’t be any break in my productivity, and no excuse for missed meetings/deadlines/etc. Attending meetings and keeping everything on track doesn’t exactly give me the time I need to clear my long & steep driveway.

OK, so now you know all the things that were going through my head when I woke up this AM. I really hope I conveyed the tone accurately. I was bitter. I was grumbling. Bottom line, I was sinning! But give me some credit…I had a reason to be, right? I mean come on! I had to shovel my driveway! I had to get work done! I had to spend time with my family!

Nope, I had no reason to be at all.

As I sat down in my office to start my day of work I was immediately struck down and overcome by conviction. I knew I had to get into the Word. Believe me, I wanted to keep going on and on about how rough I have it. But that wasn’t going to happen, I knew that I was just about to be taught a lesson…and it was going to hurt.

As I got into the Word I knew where I needed to go, Colossians 3:17:

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

Ouch. Add to that little gem the fact that I had been reading in Philippians 2:14 yesterday, and what we have here is a good old fashion head smacking “double ouch”.

So what was my conviction? The Holy Spirit exposed my ungrateful heart. The little things in life are often not little at all. How you handle them is a reflection of your heart, and will have a compounding effect on how you approach each subsequent situation. Think about this for a second. What was I grumbling about? What was I bitter about? Let’s take a look:

  1. I have a long snow covered driveway – I mean come on!?!? I am blessed to have a driveway. My driveway isn’t just a barren road in the middle of nowhere…it leads to the house the Lord has provided for me and my family.

  2. I have to balance work from home with clearing my driveway – Seriously Mike?!?!!? Do you know how many people out there don’t have a job right now? And even those who do have a job, do you know how many of them are being forced to take days off w/o pay b/c they can’t get to work?

  3. I have to work from home while my wife & kids are downstairs – Cry me a river!! Poor little Mike has to sit upstairs in his warm office sipping coffee and working on his computer while his family is mere feet away from him. Then when he is done he gets to walk downstairs and be with them in a matter of seconds. Poor Mike.
Do you see how ridiculous my complaints are when we put them in the appropriate context? Who am I and on what grounds do I have to grumble at all? Do I somehow deserve a driveway/house/job/family/anything?


So what was the result? Here it is:

Today I shovelled for the glory of the Lord. I'm thankful that the Lord has given me the health and strength to shovel, a driveway, and the conviction to examine my heart. (Colossians 3:17)

-W.S. (mike)