Excerpted from the book by Ruth Gilmore © 2001 – 2011 All Rights Reserved
New Year: “Barefoot in the Snow”
Luke 3:21 & 22
Key Words; Resolutions, Determination, Goals, Self-discipline
It’s a new year isn’t it? Happy New Year! Did any of you stay up until midnight to greet the New Year? (Let children respond. You may share how your family celebrated the New Year. The following example is based on my own experience; you may have similar traditions that would also work as an illustration, or use this one.) Some families in the Midwest have an interesting New Year’s tradition. If you are daring enough and figure you can run fast enough, at midnight, you can race around the house outside through the snow, in your bare feet! Do you think you would try that? I’m sure those crazy enough to do that wouldn’t be yelling just because it was New Year’s. They would be yelling because their feet were freezing! As soon as they got back in the front door, they could dry off their numb feet with towels and then toast their toes by the fire or a heater and maybe have some hot chocolate.
It would be a challenge to run barefoot in the snow. It would be exciting and exhilarating; but you could only stay out a very short time, or you might get frostbite! Of course, you could just stay warm and snug by the fire; you wouldn’t have to go run through the snow, but the challenge is to see if you could do it. I’m sure the snow runners would feel much different about it if there wasn’t a warm house with towels and hot cocoa waiting for them. The thought of warming up by the fire probably keeps them going.
During this next year, all of us are going to have to do things that to us might feel like running through the snow. We’ll have to clean up the huge mess in our room. We’ll have to tackle a mountain of dirty dishes. Maybe we’ll have to break a bad habit; something like calling people names when we get mad or fighting with our brothers or sisters. We may have to do things that are hard for us to do; but we have to do them anyways. It’s like gritting your teeth and running like crazy through the snow.
But when you’re through with that difficult task, you know that Jesus is there waiting, proud that you made it. And your mom and dad are waiting with a big hug to show you how happy they are that you finished. So the next time you have to do a job that you really don’t feel like doing; pretend you’re running through the snow… and remember there’s a warm hug waiting for you at the end.
Prayer: Jesus, help us to go ahead and do those things that are hard for us, but must be done. Give us courage and comfort.