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photo-1414541944151-2f3ec1cfd87d SnowHere in New Jersey, we’re snowed in. The Weather Channel has named this snowstorm “Juno” and, using their sophisticated technology, they predicted it would be an historic weather event.

Funny thing is, until this storm was given a name, it didn’t occur to anyone to stock up on bread and milk. And for me, Entenmann’s donuts. Not sure why I do that; it’s just a snow-day tradition.

As it turns out, in my area, we really didn’t get the blizzard that had been hyped up for the past few days. Probably because I forgot to buy the Entenmann’s!

Isn’t it true that once you label something, it sets in and takes on a life of its own?

On Twitter, a meteorologist named Gary Szatkowski did a mea culpa and apologized to the governor – who shut down the state – for over-hyping the storm. “You made a lot of tough decisions expecting us to get it right, and we didn’t. Once again, I’m sorry.”

The thing is, this is just a man. He doesn’t control space and time, and certainly not the weather. If anything, you could blame “Mother Nature.” Or, if you were really brazen, you might blame God.

But there’s no need to do that. Weather is just a system of energy. So it didn’t hit New York and New Jersey with a vengeance. I guess it just changed its mind!

Are we really disappointed that we didn’t get slammed by an epic storm?

So I say that we all learn a lesson from the blizzard that fizzled. Don’t give it a name unless you want it in your life. And also, don’t hope for things you really don’t want. As I once heard a soldier say, it’s better to dodge the bullet than earn the purple heart.

Meteorologists have recently come up with a phrase you may have heard: “weather-aware.” They’ll show you the forecast and say, “It might be a passing front, but you should always be…. weather-aware.”

Sounds kind of ominous! But really, most of the time, it means: umbrella, yes; flip-flops, no. In some ways, it seems like meteorologists want all of us to see the world through the same lens that they do. All weather, all the time.

On the radio, I heard that New York City had introduced its public bike-share initiative. “We’re just in the final phases of the Citi-Bike program, and we’re rolling it out slowly, trying to build momentum.” Rolling out bikes slowly? Was that pun intentional? Does the spokeswoman see the world as one big bike path?

Norman Schwarzkopf once spoke to the press about a military operation, and he was asked by a reporter for specifics. “Sorry, son, I’m a general, and generals only speak generally.”

Doesn’t it seem as if we all see the world through our own particular filters? I know that my son sees every dollar as a potential video game. I see every food item in the store as a coupon waiting to happen.

And when it comes to prayer, I seem to see every moment as an excuse to give God a laundry list of things I need done. A “honey-do” list for the Maker of All Things! Why not? It’s not as if He’s holding the whole world together or anything! Surely He has time to help me with every little thing I need or even vaguely want.

I get so specific with God in prayer – asking about a particular bill, the leaky faucet, even my insurance co-pay – that I lose sight of the fact that God’s already on it. If I were to say what’s in my heart as I prayed, it would consist of: “Here’s what’s happening (as You know) and I’m just checking in to make sure You’ve got my back.” Isn’t that what we need anyway, from anyone in our lives?

Friendship, romantic relationship, even a co-worker. We want to be sure that our partners are on the same wavelength and that they’ll be there for us when the chips are down.

Could it be that God expects us to have His back too? I think we can make His job easier by actually releasing worries once we’ve prayed about them. Maybe even making a dramatic “jazz-hands” gesture as we unleash our troubles into the ether, certain that these problems now officially belong to God.  Poof!  All good.

Seeing the world through the filter of faith can really change the way you look at things. It can also take a load off of your back and lift a burden from your heart.  You’ve just got to leave the heavy-lifting in the Right Hands.

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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