It’s a snow day, and every child is rejoicing. Though the parents’ cars are grounded and even the State has shut down its offices, the children are traipsing around outdoors. They know instinctively that this day is for them. It’s as if the snow has colluded with some mischievous plan of theirs, and they brave the elements to thank it for its offering.
I’ve never met a child who didn’t love a snow day.
I like to tell children that snow days are not actually their principal’s idea. They are God’s idea.
“He says to the snow,
‘Fall on the earth.’
And he says to the rain,
‘Pour down on the earth.’
7 God does this to
stop everyone’s work.”
“See,” I say to the children, “God wants you to stop working so hard. Sometimes he just doesn’t want you to go to school. That’s why he gives you snow days.” This is always met with a kind of suspicion from the children, like God is the great principal in the sky. And that makes me a little sad, because it tells me that too often we equate heavy expectations and scheduled demands with a kind of godliness. Even children have picked up on it.
We haven’t taught our children the value of just being…the value of rest.
But peruse Facebook for a few minutes on a snow day, and you’ll capture the childish delight of parents stuck at home with their children. You’ll see pictures of snowmen, snow angels, snow forts and ice cream – made by children and their stuck-at-home parents. I assure you none of this was planned. These were parents and their children enjoying a sanctioned moment of rest together. A Sabbath of snow.
If we take this much delight in a surprise day of rest, with a nice dose of novelty, then it should be a clue to us how we might better arrange our lives. Our Creator built rest into our lives with our sleep cycles and circadian rhythms. He gave us the quiet of night and the closing of seasons. He means for us to thrive in this world, and he told us that we’d need rest.
Can you meaningfully schedule a rest, a sabbath of sorts? For me, it’s screen-free times or the rhythm of the family coming together for something in late evening. It’s dinner at the table. It’s a drive without the speakers owning the airspace. It’s walking as a family to town for an ice cream. If we did not schedule these little islands of rest, or build them into our routines, we would really never say much to one another.
And God wouldn’t say much to us either.
God calls to the snow to fall much as he called the light to exist. He calls it to shelter the grounded plants from the biting cold and he calls it to protect us from a hurried life. Show your children how to slow down and enjoy the rest God gives them.