Words from a burning heart

by Tim Stouffer

I wonder if I’ve told some of you this story before, but indulge me if I have. I was talking about the wonderful snow we’ve had with some of my friends and I remembered how when I was a kid my Grandma took us across the road to the woods to sled. There was a large hill and a clearing in front of these woods and we had just gotten a large, deep and wet snowfall.<BR><BR>We tried in vain to get our sleds moving down the big hill (a thrill we’d been anticipating for a long time) and could only manage to move a couple of yards. We were all bundled up against the cold in snow pants and layers of coats and our mittens and boots were beginning to let snow in past their tops. It had been a long climb up the hill and disappointment, like the cold, was beginning to set in.<BR><BR>Without a word my Grandma (in her late 60s) lay down and began to roll down the hill. Over and over she rolled, plowing a firm base about five feet five inches wide all the way down. At the bottom she waved to us and we clambered into our sled and flew down to meet her. <BR><BR>She must have been dizzy. She must have endured rocks and sticks and wet, cold snow inside her clothes. She must have rethought her decision as soon as she had rolled over two or three times. Yet, at the bottom of the hill she stood waiting for us and smiling.<BR><BR>She had blazed a trail where none was. She not only showed us the way, she made the way for us. We could have packed it in and marched down the hill and back to her cozy warm little house. We could have eventually come up with the idea to make our own path. She could have even told us how to make our own path. She wouldn’t be my Grandma if she didn’t blaze her own trail.<BR><BR>Over the years whenever I see deep snow I think about that day and her smiling face rolling over and over down the hill while I held her glasses and my sister and I watched. I think about following the paths that God makes for me through the wilderness of life and I know in my heart that Grandma learned from a master teacher and guide. “I am the way, the truth and the life,” Jesus said, “no man comes to the father but through me.”<BR><BR>When you are blocked on all sides, when we have no choice but to give up and turn back, turn instead to the source of our salvation. Turn to the Son of Man this holiday season and follow the path where he leads. May God bless you and your families and here’s wishing you a happy new year!