I’m a planner. I like to know what is happening, when it’s happening, with whom it’s happening, how it’s happening, and usually – why it’s happening. When I started this Nature of a Servant project, I knew I’d need activities scheduled for at least a month to keep me accountable and to ensure time wouldn’t slip by without a volunteer outing. In fact, I’m a little proud to say that I have events scheduled until the end of February. However, I believe it’s evident that when I become prideful in my plans, God laughs.
I live in Portland, Oregon. Portland in the winter time has weather issues. Sure, folks that live in the East or Midwest or anywhere to the right of the Cascade Mountain Range deal with months of shoveling driveways. We Portlanders, however, worry about the threat of snow. That’s right. A threat. Because if any one of those clouds overhead even looks like white stuff might fall from it, the Rose City shuts down. Newscasts dominate the airwaves warning people not to drive because if it snows, the roads could be slippery.
My Michigander husband scoffs at these news reports. Whereas this native Southern California girl sits her butt on the couch until the Channel 2 weatherman reports the storm threat gone.
Occasionally, the reports are valid. Snow showers come and freezing temperatures lead to black ice. More often than not, the snow reports are hype.
I eagerly anticipated tonight’s assignment. In December, I registered through Hands On Greater Portland to volunteer at Oregon Food Bank’s North Portland location. While participants pack food, a representative from Hands On gives an orientation about the organization and teaches how to become more involved. How awesome to learn about this serving community and to actually serve at the same time! What a great post this would make in my blogging infancy.
Tonight, the weather gods had something different in mind. (No, I haven’t strayed from my monotheistic belief. It just seems wrong to blame The Big Guy for this.) The possibility of a strong weather system that could turn into snow is on the horizon.
As a result, my mind races.
I can’t renege on a commitment. That’s not my nature! I don’t want to be the wimpy chick who bails because of a little frozen precipitation. But what if I go and it snows hard and traffic is stalled in the West Hills and I run out of gas and I have no food and I freeze to death and I leave my children motherless?
You see my dilemma.
I made deals with God all morning. If it snows by the time school starts, I’ll cancel. It did. If the snow sticks, I’ll for sure cancel. It did. If Channel 2 AND Channel 8 report that snow is coming tonight, I’ll for sure, for sure cancel. They did. If I can find somewhere else to volunteer this week, I really, truly promise that I’ll cancel. Immediately there was a message with another serving opportunity in my Hotmail inbox.
I contacted the Hands On representative and I cancelled. And you know what? She admitted she was nervous going out tonight, too.
As I look out my window this afternoon, the snow is gone and a light rain is falling. I feel a tad guilty for backing out of my obligation. I’m more disappointed that my best laid plans have gone awry. God sees my heart, and I know He knows I have issues when I am not in control. Might this be a lesson in learning how to have the “nature of a servant?”
|No snow, just rain.