One Shovel at a Time

Another massive snowstorm had hit the mountains of my home. A foot and a half of the white stuff had covered everything. Living on the side of a hill I looked out the window at the task that lay ahead of me. Two cars were snowed in on the driveway. Paths had to be shoveled out to the trash bin and newspaper box. A place had to be dug out for my dogs to walk and relieve themselves. The porches and steps also needed to be cleared. My back ached already from recent days of shoveling. It felt like an impossible job. Still, I knew it had to be done.

I bundled up in my hooded coat and thick gloves and stepped out the door. The bitterly cold wind instantly bit into my face. I smiled grimly, gave a quick look to the heavens, and grabbed my snow shovel. I bent down, scooped up a shovel full of snow, lifted it slightly, and tossed it to the side. Slowly, one shovel at a time I worked my way down the side of the hill, creating my own walking path as I went. I bent, scooped, lifted, and tossed again and again. Each step needed another shovel full of snow to be moved. After a few minutes I would stop, rest, and stretch my sore back. I would look up at the gently falling flakes, breath in the ice cold air, and start again. Minute by minute and shovel by shovel I made my way down the paths, cleaned the cars, and cleared the porches. When I was finally finished I was amazed that I had done it all. It had taken my best effort. My fingers were froze, but my heart was warm with happiness. I smiled and thanked God for once again giving me the strength to do what I needed to do.

This life gives us many heavy snows to dig out of. This life gives us countless impossible jobs to do. Still, with the strength God gives us we can get them done. All we need to remember is to do them lovingly and joyfully one day, one choice, and one shovel at a time. God asks for nothing more and we should give nothing less.

Joseph J. Mazzella

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