It has snowed a lot this winter. I had to grab some sand this morning from under the porch and was buried up to my knees when I stepped off the shoveled path. Hopefully, now that it is warming up, some of this stuff will start to melt. The thing about Maine is that we always get snow, every winter. Some winters aren’t as bad as others, but the cold hard reality is that it WILL snow every winter.
I remember living in North Carolina. They couldn’t deal with the snow. In the almost three years I was there it never snowed over a couple inches and it was always gone by midday, but even so, it would send people into panic mode and schools and businesses would shut down at the very thought of snow. Whenever a significant amount of snow does fall down that way it puts the whole state out of commission for days. Here, in Maine, we don’t even count it as snow unless it is over 6 inches and even the worst storms are cleaned up within 12 hours. We aren’t afraid of snow, we aren’t intimidated by snow, it’s just a part of living here.
So what is the difference? Like I said at the beginning, it always snows in Maine. It rarely snows in North Carolina. Mainers are prepared and equipped to deal with heavy snowfalls. North Carolinians are not equipped to deal with any snow. Every town, every grocery store, every strip mall has it’s own fleet of tractors, back hoes, dump trucks, or whatever other dinosaur vehicle they can get to plow snow. Every homeowner has a snow blower or a plow for their pickup. Every car is equipped with an ice scraper. Every porch has a shovel and a bucket of sand or salt sitting on it. Every Mainer has gloves and hats and boots and heavy jackets. We are prepared. We are equipped.
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
Eph 4:11-12 (NKJV)
I wonder when we look at the church, and the seemingly large gap between the Christianity demonstrated by the New Testament church and the Christianity demonstrated by the majority of American Christians, is maybe part of the problem that people are ill equipped? I think about discipleship and the idea of teaching others so that they can teach others to teach others, and how this should all trace back to Christ. Like Paul tells Timothy:
And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
2 Tim 2:2 (NKJV)
When I look at this I can’t help but wonder what would happen if someone broke the chain? What if you started teaching a new generation of Christians something different than what was passed down from the teachings of Christ and the Scriptures? Well, they may start teaching those things to the next group who would in turn teach those things to the next and so on down the line. If this has happened it would make sense that believers are not well equipped for the type of obedience and service as we see in the New Testament.
People need plows if they are going to plow.