On Busyness and Snow

It’s finals time here at the seminary, which means one thing: busyness. There is a sense that there is not enough time. Not enough time to get the papers done, to do the work you are capable of, to see the people you need to see, to finish the projects you need to finish.

I went to run some errands this afternoon that I didn’t have time to run, and then, on my way back, decided to do something for which I definitely did not have time. I went for a long walk in the Institute, a forest preserve here in Princeton. The snow was falling. No one else was out. It was grey and beautiful and I lost the frantic feeling and instead felt a bit of grace. I was reminded of a few lines by one of my favorite authors, Frederick Buechner.

Buechner writes in his Wishful Thinking,

“The true history of humankind and the true history of each individual has less to do than we tend to think with the kind of information that gets into most histories, biographies, and autobiographies. True history has to do with the saving and losing of souls, and both of these are apt to take place when most people— including the one whose soul is at stake—are looking the other way. The real turning point in our lives is less likely to be the day we win the election or get married than the morning we decide not to mail the letter or the afternoon we watch the woods fill up with snow. The real turning point in human history is less apt to be the day the wheel is invented or Rome falls than the day a child is born in a stable.”

If you are feeling overly frantic, my prayer for you is that you take some time to watch the woods fill up with snow. It might just be what this whole Story is really about. And Who knows?  It might end up saving your soul.


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