In this blog series, Pastor Kevin Dixon shares his memories and lessons learned from growing up in Minnesota, where winters are long and sometimes severe. So many of those life lessons are relevant to the COVID-19 crisis and “Safe at Home” way in which we find ourselves living now. This entry is the sixth in our series. 

As winter begins to give way to spring, the days warm up, but the nights can be frigid. 

I was in ninth grade, and it was early April day with fresh snow. Some friends and I wanted to get one last snowmobile ride in before the season was over. It was a warmish Saturday afternoon, probably right around 32 degrees. 

The snow was wet and sticky, and the sun was bright and warm. We set out for a ride dressed like it was summer. It felt so good to be out without heavy winter clothes on. That was great until the sun started to set. Then, the warm afternoon turned into a cold evening as the wind began to pick up. This far from home, we realized we could be in trouble.

None of the three of us were dressed for the conditions. We probably had an hour ride home, so we had to make some decisions about how to stay warm: Make a run for it, and ride as fast as possible; take it slow and feel a little warmer from less wind. 

We started out fast. One of my buddies’ snowmobiles didn’t have a windshield, so he couldn’t hide behind it. He was going to freeze. My other buddy’s snowmobile was just slow. So, we made a decision: Everyone got on with me. We could keep each other warm, and we could really move and get back. Then we could put some clothes on, come back and get the other two snowmobiles. 

As we were talking and getting organized, I remembered to look under the seat of the snowmobile, where there was a storage compartment. My Dad always kept supplies in there. Sure enough, there were extra hats, gloves, a jacket, and a couple of blankets. 

Spring brings hope, but winter can linger. It’s best to prepare for cold evenings. Don’t let the warm days catch you unprepared.

When this winter of pandemic season loses its grip on us, be prepared for the moment it might bite back. Recovering will not just be a flip of a switch. We will need to be ready for the ebb and flow of warmth and cold.

There are moments when you need to bring your jacket. Don’t lose hope. Just be prepared.

1 Peter 3:15

15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 

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