“The Weather Outside is Frightful”
Every year, winter comes. And every year, some people are happy while others are miserable. Almost everyone has a love-hate relationship with snow and with winter in general. However, despite the challenges winter presents, there is much beauty too! We just have to take the time to look and really experience the moment – learning a lesson from each snowflake.
Taking a Closer Look
This winter, during the first official snowfall of the year, I was standing outside, shivering with cold. Then, I held out my hand, and a teeny-tiny snowflake landed on my black mitten. It just sat there, and it was the smallest, sweetest snowflake ever! It had its own distinct pattern, shape, and size. The next snowflake to fall on my mitten did not look like it and neither did the many snowflakes that were falling on my head or all around me.
Each snowflake has a distinct and unique pattern just as each person has a singular and unique purpose and mission in life. It is as if God has a custom-made gift for each of us and no one will ever receive the same gift again. We are unique and irreplaceable! Just like that little snowflake, which will never fall from the sky again, no one exactly like us will ever walk the earth again.
The little snowflake is immensely beautiful and yet its life cycle is so brief. It falls from the sky, blends in with all its fellow snowflakes, eventually becomes dirty, and after a few days has melted completely never to be seen again. In many ways, we are the same. We are born, we live, blending in with the people around us and allowing the world to dirty our hearts, and eventually we are gone. With this humdrum pattern, we can easily forget that each person is special and treasured by God.
Making a Difference
“Every avalanche starts with one snowflake.”
This quote, by an unknown author, is one that we should take to heart. Since we each have a special mission in life, we can start making a difference just by being ourselves. If we remember that there is only one of us and that no one can do our job or live our lives for us, we can take heart and journey on through the difficulties and the struggles. One baby step at a time can see us through the most difficult times, just like one snowflake at a time can eventually create enough snow to cause an avalanche.
There is a beautiful story that I have included below that emphasizes the importance of even the smallest actions.
The Weight of a Snowflake
Fresh Packet of Sower’s Seeds, page 66
Not too long ago in a place not too far away, a field mouse asked a wise old owl what is the weight of a snowflake. “Why nothing more than nothing,” answered the owl.
The mouse went on to tell the owl about the time he was resting on a branch in a fir tree, counting each snowflake until the number was exactly 3 million, 471 thousand, 952. Then with the settling of the very next flake – crack. The branch suddenly snapped, tumbling the mouse and the snow to the ground. “Humph…Such was the weight of nothing,” said the mouse.
So the next time you think your contributions, your acts of charity, your works for justice, your gifts of love, and your talents are nothing, or that they are small in comparison to those of others, remember that when one is added to another, and then to another and so forth, great things can happen from nothing. In the same way, what seems to be ordinary can be transformed into something extraordinary with just a little extra nothing.
Making a Difference
And so, the next time it snows, every time we behold teeny snowflakes, and really, each and every day, let us remember that we are special and loved uniquely by God. Let us live our lives serving others in our unique and special way and thus bring God’s love, life, and light to the world.
“Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to the world.” Leo Buscaglia