It was a rare February occurrence in Michigan, a nearly 50-degree weather day. Snow was melting, sun was shining, people were walking, and for the first time of the year, green grass made its appearance. All of it was a welcomed glimpse of what is possible for those who weather the dark, cold, and bitterness of the Winter season. The hope of Spring just around the corner and with it the promise of growth, new life, longer days, and warmer temperatures.
I relished it along with the day of rain that followed, washing away any snow that lingered while refreshing the earth with an overdue cleansing. It seemed a new season was upon us, until the next day hit. A blanket of snow covered the ground once again, tucking the grass back into bed and lulling it to sleep.
I had anticipated the snow would come, but I forgot to take notice of the ice. The drastic change in temperature turned the water-soaked ground into a danger-zone overnight. I quickly realized that it only takes a small distraction, a hurried pace, or oblivion of one’s surroundings to slip, fall, or get seriously hurt.
But you know what can lessen one’s risk?
Salt acts as a barrier of protection by lowering the temperature of solid water. Sprinkling salt on ice melts the hard, dangerous surface, creating a pool of water that lessens once chance of injury.
Though too often we forget to sprinkle the salt. We might assume someone else will lay it down. We may take it for granted, not recognizing its purpose in preventing accidents or injuries. We may think it isn’t needed, that we are able to do without it or wise enough to avoid any icy hazard.
We don’t always see ice and often it comes upon us when we least expect it. When we don’t stand firm or are not aware of its presence, we fall. For some, a fall can break weak bones or even cause death. For others, it can wake someone up to the dangers of their surroundings and that shock can influence the direction they choose to travel.
We can prepare for ice when we see it, acknowledge its presence, or know it is coming. We can brace ourselves for it. Choose another route to travel or boldly venture on it. Applying wisdom in our response to icy conditions has the potential to save not just our life but the lives of others.
Right now, we’re living in a figurative Ice Age. There are many areas where we can easily slip and slide away from the safety and security of a firm foundation rooted in God’s Word and supported with objective truth.
We have access to barriers, yet we don’t always use them. Instead, we’d rather take our chances, believe the “ice” won’t affect us, or choose to avoid the “ice” all together. But the thing is, we need to not just recognize the “ice” and call it by name, we need to react and respond to it. We can’t ignore it or pretend it isn’t there. We need to address it, expose its risks, and show others how to navigate it. It’s not going anywhere even if it may disappear for a time. Like the Winter season, we can be assured it will return again.
Friend, the current conditions are icy. We must exercise caution with consciousness. We must be active in establishing a solid ground to stand on, sprinkling salt and spreading warmth wherever, whenever, and however possible. We must be purposeful in our steps, mindful of our surroundings and confident in our direction. We cannot afford to be afraid, ignore the threats, or venture towards a different course of action. We know the Way and we possess what is needed and necessary to share with the world.
Salt can melt even the toughest ice, but it may take time. Be patient yet persistent. Wise yet humble. There’s a lot of land to cover and a little salt can go a long way.
“Who among you is wise and intelligent? Let him by his good conduct show his [good] deeds with the gentleness and humility of true wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be arrogant, and [as a result] be in defiance of the truth. This [superficial] wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly (secular), natural (unspiritual), even demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder [unrest, rebellion] and every evil thing and morally degrading practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure [morally and spiritually undefiled], then peace-loving [courteous, considerate], gentle, reasonable [and willing to listen], full of compassion and good fruits. It is unwavering, without [self-righteous] hypocrisy [and self-serving guile]. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness (spiritual maturity) is sown in peace by those who make peace [by actively encouraging goodwill between individuals].”James 3:13-18 (AMP)