I always thought I wrote about black ice, and every year when I see some, I think back to writing about it. Apparently, seeing a black ice photo in my draft email folder indicates that it was one Subaru ago (blue Forester) when I started to write something but didn’t. Ice and life has come and gone but my thoughts are still here: Watch out, there are black ice days and black ice times of life. This deep freeze is one of them where areas not treated or cleaned up have frozen up. The black patches of ice look like water or disappear under a snow drift. Step wrong and watch out!!! These are also the times when we forget to praise the Lord as we are so blinded by the show (or snow) of the worldly things that we forget to praise. All good things are from God and He is a jealous God! Don’t forget to praise – it warms the heart and the step.
There are black ice days and black ice times. Because we can trip up and fall when we neglect to pay attention to life and when we don’t count our blessings and even freeze our gaze and only focus too short. Life is not a bowl of cherries, but at least if the road was covered with cherries, you would see them and step more carefully. Life cannot and will not be perfect to human hopes and dreams. Life would be boring that way anyway. Our greater danger is multi-fold, we go on autopilot without looking where we step and we don’t remember Whom is better as our pilot. And we don’t take the long view and get caught in a blind spot.
We need to see. We need to look. We still have to step out into life. We need our Lord and His Spirit to guide us. And remember He does have work for us to keep driving, keep stepping forward to share His love. We cannot become complacent nor get riled up and start running at distractions. Hit the ice and crash and burn. Stall the car and sit and stew. Slam on the brakes of living and spin out of control.
When I learned to drive, in snowy and icy weather, we didn’t have antilock brakes or all-wheel drive. I was taught to turn into a skid to regain control of the car. I was taught to pump the brakes to slow down. It was about regaining safety by giving up some control and working WITH the vehicle you had (plus the sheer weight of the tanks that old cars were, you often spun into snowbanks unscathed). So even when your mind was racing, your autopilot of learned driver reactions took over to listen. Isn’t that life too? Lean into the issues, this time with guidance from above, give up a bit of control and pump on the brakes a little at a time to NOT lock up your options. Each time you let up on the brake and release the steering wheel of life, this becomes a time to let the Lord steer. We must give up control and let the Lord steer.
Black ice will catch us when we stop paying attention. The Lord knows His way around it for you.
Sometimes we are best to think ahead and add salt to a situation to prevent freeze ups, to shine light on situations and dry up the danger, sometimes add salt to conversations to smooth things over and give our best apt reply so that we can continue on our way. Always we can ask to see where the Lord has ALREADY stepped into our future and knows our best way. We must pay attention! He is trying to get our attention! And after any near miss, we can warn, help and yell for others to steer clear of danger too. Always watch for the Lord when the going gets tough!
Scripture reminds us to help others survive and thrive no matter what life throws their way: Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:11-24
Saved from the black ice for another day, we look for the Lord’s Way.
Have a safe and blessed and skid-free day.