Worst of Both Worlds?

person wearing winter jacket while snowing
Photo by Bogdan Glisik on Pexels.com

The snow came last night, enough to slow things down but not enough to paralyze the city. I woke at 4:00 a.m. and reached over to my phone to see if there was school-canceling news. Once my eyes focused on the text, I read with horror these words.

JCCC Alert–JCCC will be on a delayed start Wed. Feb 20 due to winter weather. Campus will open at 10 AM, classes set for 10 AM and after will be as scheduled.

It was the worst of both worlds. Not only did I not get to roll over and sleep as late as I wanted, but I would have to disrupt my class schedule, meeting a skeleton crew of the 10:00 class while allowing the 9:00 class to get behind. My response was to grumble and go back to sleep.

Yesterday, when I wrote about my antipathy to the snow, it was still fairly theoretical. But this morning it seemed personal. Not only was the weather out to get me, but whoever makes the decision on closing the school took aim at my routine. What kind of moron thought it was a good idea to start school at 10:00 a.m. Have school or don’t have school, but don’t saddle me with these half measures!

Then I recalled reading 1 Samuel 15 last night. In that chapter, Saul is ordered to attack the Amalekites, killing everything in the process. It’s pretty blood-thirsty, the sort of thing that we don’t teach in children’s Bible study. Via Samuel, God delivers this message to Saul:

Now go and attack the Amalekites and completely destroy everything they have. Do not spare them. Kill men and women, infants and nursing babies, oxen and sheep, camels and donkeys.

“Infants and nursing babies?” Wow! That’s severe. That’s the sort of Old Testament seriousness that makes people insist that the God of those days is a very different being from the warm and fuzzy God of the New Testament. What kind of God would order everything to be killed, including children and animals? Why?

As I’ve talked to a few people today about my misgivings regarding the late start, I’ve discovered that not everybody agrees with me. My colleagues don’t all agree. My students–or at least the half of them who showed up–don’t all agree. It turns out that I hadn’t taken all of the relevant information into account before reaching my judgment.

Why did God order the slaughter of infants and nursing babies? I can’t image, but then I don’t have to imagine. Why did the powers of the college order a late opening? I don’t really need to know that either, although I could probably discover it.

Instead, I just need to obey and make the best of matters. While the authorities at the college might not be 100% trustworthy, I have to know that God is. And if He called for a horrific slaughter 3,000 years ago, He must have had a solid reason.


More Snow?

snow streetI’ve had enough of snow for the week or for the month or for the entire winter. I’d say that I’ve had enough for the year, but I’m fairly sure that I could tolerate a bit of snow in December–you know, White Christmas and all that.

A friend of mine sings the praises of snow. She loves it. She can’t wait for it to come in and make the whole world magical. But then she lives in mid-Tennessee, where a half inch of snow that lasts for three hours is a big deal. Here in Kansas City, we’ve had something white on the ground nearly every day since the beginning of the year. We had more snow in November than we had all of last year. And right now, it is coming down in fine flakes, almost too small to be felt. It’s the portent of more to come.

For a solid week now, I’ve been driving Penny crazy by, several times a day, saying, “I’ve had just about enough of this winter nonsense. Have I mentioned that?” She smiles as she grits her teeth. Tonight, in expectation of the blizzard that has just begun outside, we’ve now cancelled the third deacons meeting of 2019. It’s February 19 and we still can’t get the guys together. My school closed at 5:00 p.m., and I won’t cry if we get a snow day tomorrow out of the thing. That’d be the only positive to come out of another four inches of snow.

Why? Why is it still snowing? Why do we have to put up with this nonsense, watching our streets torn up by the freeze-and-melt cycle, struggling to drive here or there? Where is the justice in all of this?

Of course the answer is a non-answer. When Job wagged his finger at God, questioning God’s justice, the Lord’s response was simple and stern. It was an eloquent version of “Shut your mouth!” In part, it was like this:

Have you ever in your life commanded the morning
or assigned the dawn its place,
so it may seize the edges of the earth
and shake the wicked out of it? –Job 38:12-13

Why the snow? I don’t know. I’m still fed up with it, but no amount of my impatience will change a bit of it. So we just hold out for a snow day!