Earlier this month, Colorado had a snow storm that brought nearly 2 feet of snow to my neighborhood. It was April 16th, springtime in the Rockies, and most of us were ready for springtime activities. The snow started late Friday night and by Saturday morning we already had nearly a foot of snow on the ground. I coach high school baseball and had a double header scheduled for that Saturday. The entire weekend was full of planned activities; Saturday morning breakfast with the team, double header that afternoon, a sweet 16 birthday party for my daughter that evening, then a long mountain bike ride and church on Sunday. But the severe weather changed all that. The snow even knocked out our internet and Satellite TV. You can imagine the joy my daughter felt realizing she would spend her 16th birthday snowbound with her parents! The only one happy about the snow was my dog Scout, who sprinted around the yard, rolling in the deep snow as I plowed the driveway and shoveled the walk. Just two days before, I was running up the Pikes Peak Barr Trail in shorts and a T-shirt, lamenting how hot it was!
After living in Colorado for 16 years, I know that the weather can change in an instant. I have learned to always be prepared for unexpected storms, but I still find myself caught off guard at times and unprepared. As I reflect on that weekend, I realize that Colorado weather is much like life. We make plans, but life throws us a curve ball and forces us to adapt. Storms can be devastating events that stop us in our tracks. They can also be just what we needed. They cause us to take a pause from our busy schedules and do something different; like baking birthday brownies because you can’t get to the store to buy a cake, or spending the day inside watching the new Peanut Movie in front of a fire, or even rolling around in the snow with your Labrador.
They also make us do crazy things, like order a new iPhone for your 16 year old. See, of the hundreds of thousand teens who live in Colorado, my daughter is the only one without a smartphone, or so she claims. Could she possibly be right? I Googled it, but all I could confirm is that even homeless teens in Colorado have cell phones! Now I’m not thrilled by the idea of putting a new smartphone in the hands of a teen about to get her driver’s license, but the storm meant she was not going to the mall with her friends for her birthday. Shopping money was no longer the ideal gift and I was desperate to quickly find a replacement. So in exchange for her spending the day with her parents, she got a card that announced the impending arrival of her new iPhone, a well thought out gift! What great parents!
That Saturday in April, instead of spending the day with the baseball team, I spent it with my daughter, on her 16th birthday. I’m sure she would have preferred to have her friends with her, but instead, she had me and her mom (what a lucky teenager!). She even beat both my wife and I in a game of rummikub! And I did not let her win, I’m much too competitive for that. She will soon be driving and she will be off with her friends and have little time for her parents. I am sure we will reflect back and realize what a special weekend this turned out to be, not because our youngest joined the ranks of smartphone owners, but because we got an unexpected down day to just be us and enjoy some time together.
Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is (Psalm 39:4)