Snowflake Moment

Last night the snow came. Suddenly. Unexpectedly. The weather forecast 2 hours previously hadn't predicted it. I left the house and everything was normal but within 2 minutes and a mile from home 2 inches of snow was on the ground and it was blowing in horizontally. Later it took us an hour to make the journey home from Holywood, a trip that would normally take 10 minutes at most. On the way we encountered many cars slipping and sliding on the ungritted roads... particularly 4x4s, confirming my worse suspicions that many people who buy such vehicles for town driving don't really know how to drive them!
Even at 11pm there were lots of people out having snowball fights, making snowmen and even a few parents dragging young children along on sleds. This produced an unaccustomed keeness in my wife to plan to go out sledging with the boys at Stormont this morning. Given that, at that moment I was concentrating hard on keeping the car on the road and aching because the cold had got into my joints, pinpointing all my old sports injuries, I wasn't quite so enthusiastic.
But anyway... After getting home and having something hot to drink, at 1 am I spent a few moments standing on the doorstep, in the eerie light of streetlights reflected on a pristine blanket of snow. Everyone else was asleep indoors.
And as I stood there I thought of the fact that climatologists tell us that such sights may well be rare in the future due to climate change... And conversely that geologists tell us that we are actually in a temporary warm blip in the midst of an ice age... But given that meteorologists couldn't even predict the weather 2 hours ahead, I'm not too certain as to either of those predictions.
But whatever may happen in the next 50 years, the next 50,000 years or the next 50 minutes, for those few moments I simply stood and gave thanks to God who holds all of history and creation in the palm of his hand... And though like a snow flake on the palm of a child, that moment may melt away almost instantly from the perspective of a human lifetime, never mind geological time... From the perspective of eternity it is no shorter nor less important than the whole of human history.
So whether it be in sunlight or under a starlit snowly night... Let us learn to stop and give thanks for that moment...


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