Confessions of a Missionary: I Hate Snow Days

IMG_0447Last week we got the fist serious snow in Winston Salem this winter that resulted in three days of school cancelled, and noon dismissal on Tuesday.  Most kids I’m sure were incredibly excited about these snow days, but I absolutely hated them.

Oh don’t get me wrong I enjoyed parts like taking a picture of the dog, making jokes about southerners going to get bread and milk, and even created a Pinterest board making fun of our response to snow.  But shutting down the school system meant none of the volunteer ministries I’m involved with run as usual.

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Being a Missionary applying for a Permanent Visa to Australia means I don’t have a full-time job in the States, so ministering to other people takes the place of that (through English Teaching, Mentoring, Office Management, and after school clubs with different organizations). So basically from Wednesday to Friday little one on one ministry could be accomplished.

To make matters worse I developed a chest cold which of course made me even less productive, after acting like everything was okay for a few days (it wasn’t) I finally got some DayQuil and promptly went into a comatose state for the next five hours.

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The thing is a lot of work was still accomplished during those snow days, but in my mind none of it was “productive” or could make a real difference in others lives.

My response to this was anger and frustration since men are created with a desire to produce (work hard) and provide for their loved ones.  It’s easy however to base our confidence or view of ourselves as men on that ability to produce something.  So whenever things out of our control (like the snow canceling school) come up we feel like weak little boys instead of men.

The real danger of this is there will be days or portions of our lives that are incredibly unproductive just like Snow Days…when there will be no “real work” to do, or all of your attempts to accomplish something fail miserably.

It’s in those moments we learn what kind of character a person has; will they continue doing the work God gives (even if it’s to rest for the afternoon)? Or will their own desire for fulfillment and real work cause them to become angry or frustrated? This has real meaning for me since I’m in an extended “Snow Day” period of ministry while my Australian Visa is completed, and there are days when all of the work being done during furlough seems like it’s worthless.

However at those times I can rest in the fact that all the work given to me by God is in fact not worthless but a precious gift, and while obeying His Will every moment I’m doing the most important work imaginable.

So I am learning to love snow days 🙂

Published by

John Wilburn

Church planter, teacher, and disciple-maker in Barrouallie St. Vincent

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