looking on the bright side

It could be worse. I could live in GUANGZHOU, China

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,326687,00.html

My favorite quote from this article:

"If this happened in America, it would have been cleared up much faster," said textile factory worker He Mingtong, 48, as he waited for his train beneath a pedestrian bridge near the station. "America has the equipment, the trucks, to clear away the snow."

I hope the government doesn't get mad about Mr. Mingtong's remarks. Here people have been complaining about spotty mail service in some places. I'm not complaining. I don't even want to go get the mail, so how can I blame the post man for not wanting to deliver it?

I guess stories like this one are a blow to Global Warming Doom-sayers. There are a lot of us in the Northwest and Northeast (and China) that would appreciate some Global Warming right now. Maybe we've finally turned things around. I stopped using aerosol hairspray years ago and I always turn the lights off when I enter a room. Makes it hard to see, but I would hate to be responsible for melting the ice caps. After I helped my neighbor unstick his wife's care he remarked, "so much for that Global Warming bull...". Well, you can guess what he said.

I'm not sure that the snow in my driveway is proof against human-initiated global climate change, but it does make me think about shoveling driveways. Do you know what is interesting about shoveling a driveway? It is a temporary solution to a temporary problem. What I mean is this: if I just waited long enough the snow and ice would melt on their own. All of the work I am doing will, in a week or a month, be melted away. No one will ever be able to tell by looking how much snow I moved.

Life is like that. Some of the things we work the hardest on and worry the most over will in the near future have no lasting result that we can see. So are they really necessary or valuable? Two answers, Yes and Yes.

Yes, because there is no such thing as hard work without results. Right now my arms, neck, back, and legs are sore. My shovels are bent and my spirits are dampened. But tomorrow when I go back out to shovel I will be a little bit stronger, a little bit smarter, a little bit more motivated to do the job right. And when the warmer weather comes I will appreciate it so much more. When we sincerely do the work we are called to do there is always a lasting result in our character.

Yes, because there is no such thing as a moment where we have no impact. While we often focus on making a permanent impact, there is a sense in which each moment lasts for eternity. A simple illustration is a photograph. When you pose for a picture there is no way you can literally preserve that moment forever. But when you look back at the picture years from now you are reminded that that moment did happen. It will never cease to have happened. Every moment we live is like this whether there is a picture of it or not. So shoveling the driveway is what I have to do so that Jana and I can go out and live in the world. Those moments lead to other moments which all have their place in history. They are all necessary and valuable to me.

Thanks for indulging me.

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