Four days of sub-23-degree temperatures. Glacier-esque (to describe just how slowly it’s eroding; there’s no melting going on here) ice still on all of the roads. We haven’t had a lick of precipitation since Tuesday, but the schools have been closed for four days. Rolling blackouts that had us in the dark for about 30-minutes twice yesterday. Lows in the lower teens, highs in the upper teens all week. Church services and Bible studies canceled. Meetings postponed. And this morning we wake up to a fresh three-inches of snow on the ground. And it’s still coming down!
Coming into work this morning, driving very slowly on Mid-Cities Boulevard, when I attempt to turn left on Martin to go in the back way (I’ve tried the front entrance off Mid-Cities twice this week; I’m oh-for-two — that’s steeper than it looks). And here it comes just over the hill. Something, I daresay, has never been seen in this zip code. Ever.
A snowplow. (Is that one word, or two? I honestly have no idea.) A snow plow on Mid-Cities! I could have turned in front of it. I had plenty of time. But I just didn’t want to. I wanted it to go by me. I wanted to watch it. I wanted to see it up close. I was mesmerized. I couldn’t take my eyes off this thing. Here it came, in the far left lane, right at me, a mountain of snow and ice being shoved to the shoulder in front of it.
I rolled my window down to get a good look at the driver as he passed. Had they imported a guy from Pittsburgh or Green Bay? I’m sure nobody around here has ever driven one of these things. At the very least this operator has to be from Pampa or Amarillo. No, it was actually an employee of the City of North Richland Hills, wearing his official green city-issued coat. I smiled — almost laughed, actually — and shook my head in wonderment and even a bit of amusement as he went by. Our eyes met for a brief moment.
He was not smiling.
I love it.
No apologies. I really do enjoy this. It’s wild. It’s unprecedented. It’s extreme. It’s new. It gets everybody excited. It makes everybody hyper. It really heightens the senses when you’re driving around on / in it. And it breaks up the monotony.
But, seriously, tonight we’ve gotta get out of the house. We’ve watched movies together, we’ve cooked together, we’ve stayed up late and slept in together. We’ve played Uno, Phase 10, Apples to Apples, Skip-Bo, and even a few made up games. And we’ve all got a bit of cabin fever. It’s not gotten to the Jack Nicholson – Shelly Duval point in The Shining yet. Not yet. But we’re definitely going to go do something else tonight.
So our Small Group is getting together Sunday evening to watch the Super Bowl. Michael sent an email to all of us a couple of days ago claiming that one cannot attend a Super Bowl party and not have a rooting interest. He wanted to know which team we were each pulling for. Here was my reply:
If the Steelers were playing the devil himself and an army of demons from hell, I’d root for the devil. I would have to. Cheering for the Steelers to win a Super Bowl is evil incarnate. In fact, if anyone at our Small Group party is pulling for Pittsburgh, I believe it will cease to be a Christian gathering. I’ve lost 15-pounds already this week because I vomit everytime the TV shows the Steelers logo painted in the end zone at Cowboys Stadium.
On the other hand, how can any of us legitimately root for the Packers? If it weren’t for Jerry Kramer and Bart Starr the Super Bowl hardware would be called the Landry Trophy instead of the Lombardi.
Sunday is truly about finding the lesser of two evils. I’m firmly convinced that’s Green Bay.
I’ve reconciled all of this by choosing not to pull for either of these two hated franchises. I’m merely rooting for the Steelers to lose. It’s the only way. My brain and my heart have found peace with that.
When asked about the awful weather in DFW, Aikman blamed Roger Staubach. “He’s the one with the direct line to God; at least that’s what I’ve been told all these years.”
My friend Dan Bouchelle, the director of Missions Resource Network, has written a great post today on his blog Confessions of a Former Preacher. (He used to be one of us.) Dan pens some great insights into the burden of the church a preacher carries. But I especially like his observations on the relationship between preaching and community and worship and community. It’s good stuff. Click here to read it.