Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chipping Ice: The Second Week of Lent

It is ice chipping weather here in Minnesota.

If the climate of your geographic area limits your familiarity with this hallowed, late-winter Minnesota past time, what a shame.   Ice chipping is incredibly satisfying.  The snow and ice have been accumulating for months in the sub-freezing temperatures.  By late-February or early-March, when we finally get a few days of 35 degree sunshine, the slow road to thaw begins.  Thirty five degrees and sunny is just enough to melt a few snow layers during the day, which then freeze again by night, thus a layer of ice coats most driveways and sidewalks these days.  To reclaim secure footing, it's time to get out the ice chipper.  

Nothing clears ice like an ice chipper!  The thin metal blade is perfect for cracking, chipping and scrapping up the ice sheets that cover concrete walkways and driveways.  It is hard work to be sure, but it's the kind of sweat that feels good after being cooped up inside during weeks of frigid weather.  Plus, there is real satisfaction in a job well done, gazing over a pile of ice chunks to the smooth, bare, secure concrete of a cleared driveway or sidewalk.

As the second week of Lent comes to a close, I realize that I need the Lord to clear the layers of "ice" out of my life.  Like the cold world outside, I have piled up plenty of disfunction and bad habits that make me just as insensitive, harsh and hazardous to others as the ice layers that cover my front steps. Jesus Christ is the master chipper, able to get through even my toughest layers when I avail myself to His help. And, boy do I need it.

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