December 20, 2017

by Patrick Sullivan

I’m not sure about where you live, but right now, we have snow…lot’s of it. And when it snows where I live it kind of imposes itself on you; it breaks into your routine whether you like it or not; because the fact is, if you want to go anywhere, you have to get rid of it.

I myself am one of the more conservative shovelers. Staring at the thick blanket of white stuff on my driveway, I tend to grip my shovel tightly and promise that it will all be over once I can at least make a walkway (a sort of path that at least the mailman can get through if he is so inclined).

I have found over the years however, that once I get started, that path is not enough. To be more accurate, if I want the walkway to remain useable for longer, then I actually have to widen it on both sides so that wind or children or yes, even animals don’t come along and blur the lines. And because shovelling snow is about getting in and out (i.e. receiving the mail and going to the grocery store) sooner or later I have to widen things enough to let the car do what it was made to do.

So much for the confessions of a lazy snow shoveler.

There is however, a lesson in all of this. Many of us begin our spiritual journeys with a simple yet hesitant step of allowing the message of God in. Maybe we’ll let someone bring up the subject around us; maybe we’ll let the channel linger for just a moment on the television preacher; or maybe we’ll even nod our heads as others ask God to bless their food. All of that is a walkway; a much needed start to a life with God.

But if we want to go out. If we want to live the way that we were always intended, then sooner or later that path must become as wide as a driveway. It must allow us to get to Communion, to evangelize, and to catechize. And when that happens and you realize what you have been missing all along, something else becomes quite clear as well; many people are snowed in.

You see, Christianity is not about conveniences or duties to be fulfilled; it’s about saving lives. And if you have a shovel in your hand like I do, and the winds carrying snow in your direction seem to have doubled, so what? It’s time to shovel with all of the energy we can muster; our neighbours need us.

PATRICK SULLIVAN

Catholic Lay Evangelist, Patrick Sullivan is an author, speaker, educator and founder of Evango, a Catholic media organization that meets the baptized where they are at while inspiring them to engage in the new evangelization.

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Catholic Lay Evangelist, Patrick Sullivan meets the baptized where they are at while inspiring them to engage in the new evangelization.

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