“Taking advantage of every opportunity …”

White out!

And, just like that, the preparation of a week is buried in what, by tonight, will be several feet of Northwoods April snow.

This is a first for me. I’d thought, if ever church were snowed out, that I might be relieved to rest, to have a spare message in the hip pocket. But, I’m not. I’m disappointed! Sunday morning is the high point of the week. And, this week, we hoped to follow the momentum of last week’s baptism. This week we were looking forward to hearing Liz and Paul Bowman, here from Spain. This week, Tim and the worship team were ready; the slides were all done. Both Bryn and Lauren’s moms were here from Iowa to celebrate Lauren’s baby shower, rescheduled for the second time … White out!

But then, this morning as I was skiing the two miles down the Pine Line to check in at the building to intercept any who didn’t get the cancellation message, a line from the morning’s message crossed my mind: Look carefully then how you walk … making the best use of the time … (ESV). Or, as a looser translation might say, “taking advantage of every opportunity.”

Now, here is an opportunity, this April white out. I thought of how, just an hour before, Amanda and I had (maybe for the first time ever in our married lives) made coffee, sat in bed on a Sunday morning and talked about what God has for us in the next season of our lives. Been looking for a chance to have that conversation, haven’t we, Dearie?  I thought of other married couples at Woodland who might have benefited from the same break in the routine.

Then we arrived. (Katja and Henry came up behind on snow shoes). We weren’t alone. A couple elders and a few others joined us. We made a circle, right where all the singing and sharing and teaching would have been, and we, well, made the most of the opportunity. We let our minds run over how God is the one doing the work at Woodland. While we pressed ourselves to prepare our parts for a service that was not to happen, God spent the week preparing a snow storm, so we’d have opportunity to “take advantage of the opportunity,” to pray for our Woodland church family, to have those over-due conversations, to rest even.

God is about 10,000 things at Woodland, isn’t He? We’ll take advantage of every opportunity, but let Him do the work.

And then, this coming week, we’ll go right down into the crisis of the week (there’s always one, you know), and we’ll trust Him to draw us together on Sunday, once again and as next week’s very own work of grace.

4 thoughts on ““Taking advantage of every opportunity …””

  1. I was so bummed church was cancelled! Because i SO look forward to Sunday mornings- being strengthened by truth through, song, words, and friendship! Jason had to work that Sunday anyways, but Lylah and I had our own “pretend” church service here at home. We sang (she danced), we prayed together for some people, and we read from her Bible Storybook while sipping on hot cocoa. It wasn’t the same, but it was sweet and fun! We’ll look forward to next week!

    1. Totally encouraging to hear how your morning went, Spring. And to hear how you and Lylah made the most of the opportunity. Now we all know a little better what our church family times on Sunday mornings mean to us! Thanks for connecting here at the beginning of this week!

    2. I read your blog each week. I’m thankful for a Pastor (and church!) that LOVES the Lord, and the body of Christ so much that they would ski in, or drive down snow covered roads in order to pray and fellowship with one another. I can’t wait to meet next week! ~ Andra

  2. John and I were in Ohio on this historic morning. Thank you for sharing what happened. I especially appreciated your words, “…let Him do the work.” I needed to hear that.

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