So I'm in the driveway the other afternoon, shoveling away the snow that is piling up fast as one of the recent succession of East Coast winter storms tracks through central Pennsylvania. The plows have not made it around our neighborhood yet and with four to six inches of new snow the streets are treacherous. I'm enjoying the blowing flakes and the physical exertion, not to mention the anticipation of a hot cup of tea when I, at least temporarily, finish the job.
The garage door of a nearby house opens and a large SUV emerges cautiously into the whiteness. It backs down the driveway and turns in the street. The garage door closes. "I suppose the driver feels confident enough to set out in that vehicle", I think to myself.
Not so. The car goes a few yards, then stops and begins to reverse - to the mailbox of the house from which it emerged. The driver's window rolls down, and a hand reaches out, quickly collecting the afternoon's mail. The window rolls up again, and the SUV heads back on its twenty-yard return journey into its garage womb.
I can't believe my eyes.
Passing judgment comes easily. Yet how come I notice the SUV in my neighbor's garage so much more than the frequent-flier miles in my own account? (Matthew 7:3)
It's more appropriate, I think, to reflect on the insulating power of technology. So many of the young people at the Ben Lowe event last week spoke about how being outside had opened their eyes to the presence of God. How possible is that experience, if we treat getting the mail during a moderate snowstorm as the equivalent of an EVA from the space shuttle?
Photo by Flickr user gmeurope, licensed under Creative Commons
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