This past week was a mixed bag of national pride and "What, another winter storm?"
I live in Canada, and on the 15th of February we celebrate Flag Day. And the second Monday is, for most provinces, Family Day. Well, except the province in which I live. It's called, "Family Shovel out the Driveway" Day.
Just kidding. I love my country. I chose to become a Canadian citizen at age 18 and I served in the Army. I love that I live near where the man who designed the Canadian flag lived.
But the harsh realities of winter have really knocked me back onto my snowpant-covered posterior. It's hard to love winter with all its pretty white snow when the door you'd opened to let the dog out has pressed its design against a seven foot drift and the snow is over 5 feet all the way to the end of the drive.
But I recently came into contact with a man who hates our country. He's living in a drafty home that he struggles to keep heated, and thinks his country doesn't care. Now, he may be one of those who complain about everything, anyway, (we all know that type) but he also tests my personal faith.
In everything I am to pray. So I prayed for him. And I prayed for my own struggles against disliking winter. I won't ever leave my country. My brother lives Down Under, and he loves his country. But we both know neither country is perfect. There isn't a perfect one, but I do know that I am to be joyful in all circumstances, even like today as I clean out the cement-like snow at the end of the driveway.
Being joyful isn't being happy. It's experiencing the love of Christ. Rick Warren says it well:
Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be all right, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.
Meeting that negative man and meeting winter head-on should not take away my joy, it should force me to seek it all the more. I will continue to pray for both of us and I will continue to pray for my country, and that the peace of Christ comes to all nations, mine and yours.