Glorify the Lord, O chill and cold,
drops of dew and flakes of snow.
Frost and cold, ice and sleet, glorify the Lord,
Praise him and highly exalt him forever.
(Benedicite, Omnia Opera Domini)
As a new resident of Minneapolis from Seattle in order to pursue graduate theological studies, this stanza has become a mantra for me. While I like the idea of four seasons (actually two…winter season and road construction season…as the saying goes here in Minnesota), this winter so far has been bitterly cold which is a shock to my west coast body temperature. Many times I have asked the question, “what am I doing here? This is a legitimate question to ask when we consider decisions that we have made or situations we encounter in our lives, but there is more to the question because it is the question that God often asks us throughout our lives. This is the Elijah question from 1 Kings 19:9 where God asks “What are you doing here, Elijah?” This was a self-reflective question presented to Elijah. He was prompted to consider his heart, to check his motives and attitude, to reflect on where he was at in his relationship with God. We should consistently practice the same introspection in our lives. Thus, when I experience the uncomfortable moments or the challenging moments in my life to the point where I ask the question, “what am I doing here?” I should ask the question again. I should rephrase it with a God focus. In the midst of the freezing cold, where is my heart? What is God doing in my life? In the midst of vigorous and challenging graduate studies, instead of cynically asking, “what was I thinking?” I should ask the question, how is God using my studies to draw me closer to him and to further his kingdom? As the winter elements glorify the Lord, so my life should praise him and highly exalt him forever. Next time I’m brushing the snow off my truck in below zero temperatures, I will have a better perspective on what the snow and I are doing here.