Ice Road Workers


Thursday, February 13, 2014  11:00 a.m.

There is a pot of soup on the stove a few feet away from me.

Thanks to the ice storm of the century, I’ve spent the last two days working from home. With my kids. So that means that I’ve had to take a break every 30 minutes to build a Lego spaceship. When I work alone at my office I only take breaks every 45 minutes to build Lego spaceships.

This is the part where I’m supposed to complain about cabin fever and the kids getting on my nerves. But I can’t do that. I can’t do it because there are a lot of people in my church who would love to have cabin fever with their kids.

Before the ice storm hit us I called a lady in our church. She just moved down here from the midwest. I wanted to make sure that she was ready for her first Georgia ice storm.

“I moved down here to get away from this stuff.”

She went on to inform me that ice was different from snow and that nobody, no matter what side of the Mason-Dixon Line they come from, can drive on ice.

The police in my county agreed with her. They spent Wednesday night encouraging all of us to stay off of the roads. They even offered a free ride to work for anyone who needed it. The message was clear.

Stay home.

But, like I said, several people in my church didn’t take that advice. It’s not that they were being stubborn or rebellious. They just had a job to do.

Matt is a police officer. He spent all day Tuesday tracking down an escaped inmate from another county. And then an inch of ice fell on us. So he spent the rest of the week making sure that the people who had to get out on the roads were okay.

People like Clint. He works for a power company. While I was sitting at home, smelling soup and working on my sermon, he was with a bunch of other men making sure that the electric stoves we all cook our soup on still had what they needed to function. I thought about him every time our lights blinked off for a second or two. That’s about as long as we ever lost our power. A second or two.

Justin slept at the airport. He wasn’t stuck, waiting for his next flight. He was at work. That’s where he’s been most of the week. Without coming home. Without seeing his wife and daughter. There was a job that needed to be done and there were only a few people who were able to do it. Justin made sure that he was one of those people.

There are others. Danielle slept at the hospital where she works. Randa chased her kid around while her husband was stuck at work.

I’m a pastor. Sometimes it’s hard for me to see the fruits of my labor. Being a pastor is not like cutting grass.

Yesterday the grass was tall.

Today it’s short.

I did that.

Some pastors go years before they ever experience that feeling of accomplishment from their work. Some pastors never see it. But we’re always looking for it.

Social media can fool us. It can make us believe that our people have to start non-profits or dig wells in foreign countries before they are ever truly Christ-like. Those things are great but modeling the love and life of Christ isn’t confined to those things. You can also see it in a man who willingly sleeps on a bench where he works in order to provide for his family during an ice storm.

The ice in my yard is starting to melt. Soon, the roads will be clear and families in our church will be reunited. This ice storm brought with it a reminder. A reminder that being like Jesus doesn’t require starting a trendy ministry, preaching a sermon or writing a book.

Sometimes being like Jesus just means going to work when going to work is hard because you might not be coming back for a few days.

I’m blessed to pastor a church full of people with that attitude. People who know who they represent. People who know who they’re really working for.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. Colossians 3:23 (ESV)