Growing up in Southern Arizona there are a lot of things I can tell you about and appreciate about the desert. I knew what to do and not to do in the 100 plus heat, what kind of critters to look for and avoid. I knew how drive in a flash flood and monsoon and loved watching the thunder storms. I can name a lot of cacti and desert flora and fauna. A lot of this I took for granted until this desert rat moved to North Dakota. I am about as close to the Canadian border as I use to be to the Mexican border. I am now in the middle of my second winter up here and I can tell you there is a lot I didn't know and probably still don't, little things that those grew up here take for granted ( I did in the desert) and big things like how to drive on ice...fun. All of this to say I have learned a lot and continue too learn new stuff every day. God is teaching me so much through snow, cold, ice, ear muffs, etc.
I love to watch the snow fall especially in the early morning when I am the only one awake. It is beautiful, peaceful and fascinating. I see the fresh snow and how crisp and clean it is and remember the Bible where it says "wash me and I shall be whiter than snow Psalm 51:7. The snow even in the dark of night can radiate. I get up and think a light must be on somewhere in the house. It can be blinding it is so bright. What's more is it doesn't take long for it to get dirty. Anything that isn't of God taints His beauty and it doesn't take a lot. One set of foot prints are easily seen in the snow, a little sand or dirt and it looses its pristine brilliance. I am the same way doing my own thing not God's. That is the influence of sin on God's perfect plan.
I also didn't know much about driving. I had heard of snow tires and chains but not studs and a block heater with a plug sticking out of your car engine? Do you know what packed snow and ice sounds like on your tires when you are turning or backing out of your driveway? I didn't and all these sounds had me wondering if my van was in need of a tune up. Do I know the signs of needing a spiritual tune up? Am I assuming I know what I need or am I ready for anything God has for me. How about things to keep in your car for an emergency, I can tell you I didn't think about a lot of it ( salt or litter, candles, cans, lighters, sleeping bags, snacks, jumper cables ( the cold can drain a battery) I know most of these things I won't need but I have to carry them just in case. I feel like a Boy Scout, "always be prepared". Am I prepared for God's work?
Clothing is another learning experience for me. You can't have too many layers some days or enough gloves. We have a basket full of scarves, gloves, ear muffs, hats and more. We all have several coats now and depending on the temperature and wind determines which one we choose to wear that day. 30 degrees can feel like a nice Spring day now. I would have been freezing at that temperature in Arizona. Gloves can come with nose wipe areas on the thumb and are advertised this way, I laughed the first time I saw it. I wonder how much care I take with my spiritual clothing every day and do I know what I put on or better yet in my life?
I could go on and know I will learn more with each day. I never would have thought I would have lived in this much snow but I can say I have loved it and learned so much. I am thrilled to have this opportunity and if anyone moves to the desert from here I will be better prepared to help them with their transition.