I wanted to cry. I drove up to my driveway and had to drive right by. The plow had come down our street and left it impassable. I got out of my car and stood there wondering what I was going to do. It was dark. There was no one around. The snow was thick and heavy. I couldn't even try to ram through it with the car.
To make matters worse, I had just read an article about a man who died while shoveling snow in Providence. He was listed as being the first fatality of the blizzard in Rhode Island. With my history, I am not supposed to do much shoveling. My chest hurt just thinking about it.
As I stood there looking at the snow and thinking how unfair it was, I was struck by the reality that this happens all the time. How many times have we had to deal with the consequences of what other people have done?
I mentioned this to a friend of mine who plows during winter storms, and he told me a few stories of his own. He said people are basically thoughtless, selfish and inconsiderate. There are always two sides to everything.
It brings to mind Newton's third law of motion that states for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The truth is that none of us lives in a vacuum. Everything we do affects someone else. That is why sin is so devastating. When we act selfishly, it always affects someone else.
So what are we to do? I think living by the Golden Rule is the best policy. In Matthew 7:12, Jesus says, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." If we try to do the right thing — to treat others respectfully, to love like God loves, to show compassion and justice — it will come back to us.
So with Lent upon us, I would like to challenge you to do something different. Instead of giving up something for Lent, do something for others. Make it a point to visit someone in a convalescent home. Offer to give an elderly neighbor a ride to the doctor. Offer to babysit for the young couple next door so that they can have a night out.
Do something! Be a blessing. You just might set off a chain reaction that will change the world around you for the glory of God. When it comes back around, you will be in line to be the recipient of something special.
God bless. See you in church.
The Rev. Cal Lord is a Norwich resident and serves as pastor at Central Baptist Church of Westerly. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org;mailto:email@example.com.