As kids (and sometimes as adults) we pray each winter for the conditions to be just right for a glorious interruption of our daily routine, even if only for a day.
Of course, if the wintry flakes of wonder could fall on the right day, that would be even better. The day of the big test, or the big presentation, or whatever day you may be dreading.
Then, every few years (if you’re lucky), the special day comes. The weather reports turn out right. You wake up to the sight of snow on the ground and iced over roads and the best news anyone could ever get: school and work are cancelled.
But a Snow Day is not the solution to your problem.
I’m not trying to be all Debbie Downer about the snow. One of my favorite memories in life is when a Snow Day fell on my birthday in the 4th Grade. I remember going to the movies and being elated since I should have been taking a test at the time.
I’m just saying snow days don’t last forever. You’ll still have to face every challenge the snow day temporarily pushed back.
Just as every snow day will eventually melt away, every mountaintop experience must come to an end as well.
A few of Jesus’s disciples had a Snow Day-type experience once. Jesus took them to the top of a mountain. There they saw something incredible, like no one had ever seen:
When the disciples woke up, they saw Jesus’s glory and Moses and Elijah standing with Him. When Moses and Elijah were about to leave, Peter, not knowing what he was saying, blurted out, “Master, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make 3 shelters as memorials – one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah!” (Luke 9:32-34)
We laugh at Peter blurting out his words and missing the point of this incredible moment. But Peter is not alone.
We all want to build snowmen that last forever. We want the hope of the snow day to stay alive.
A Snow Day doesn’t solve our problems. All the tests, all the challenges, all the work of reality will be waiting for us on the other side.
Life is not meant to be lived on top of the mountain. Nor does God want us to spend all of our time playing in the snow.
I think God gives us these glorious experiences as mile markers, places to remember and point to as we try to lead others to Him. These are the times we are to draw inspiration from when we kick back into reality.
The next day after this Transfiguration, Jesus and the disciples walked back down the mountain and faced a large crowd. They went back to the work of healing, teaching, and serving the community.
Snow Days are wonderful, memorable occasions. They are meant to be cherished, especially down south where they only come so often. We should wring every ounce of wonder out of them while they last.
But we must not look to Snow Days or any other temporary remedy as a solution to our problems. We must not hide from reality seeking mountaintop experiences.
Fear not. The snow melting away just means the sun is shining it’s bright light upon our new pathway. As we come down from the mountain, God will lead the way.