I don’t know about your area, but over the past couple of weeks, Virginia Beach has experienced two major snowstorms, one unexpected snowfall that delivered two inches, and record-breaking low temperatures.
When we first moved to coastal Virginia about 12 years ago, I recall people boasting that it rarely snows here and that you could play golf 10 months out of the year. This year, Old Man Winter had different thoughts.
Here at Trail Reflections, we talk extensively about living the adventure. However, it can be downright tough to pursue adventure when your teeth are chattering from the blistering cold, you can’t put your arms down like Randy from A Christmas Story, and the snow measures 10 inches deep on your driveway.
During crazy winter weather, you can almost guarantee that the talking heads on local TV news will utter their repetitive motherly advice: “If you don’t need to be on the roads, stay off the roads.”
Certainly I don’t recommend people make irrational decisions and travel in unsafe conditions, but those statements of impending doom and gloom tend to grate on my nerves. It’s a subtle reminder that we have developed into such risk-averse creatures to the point that we continuously allow external circumstances to dictate the direction of our lives.
The night after “Snowmagedden” had draped its white footprints on our region, the roads were quickly scraped clear. Yet, most places of business and restaurants had remained closed or shut down early.
We drove over to Cracker Barrel to grab dinner, but the hostess informed us of their limited menu and the fact that there were no biscuits being served. It was true – the end of the world as we knew it had descended upon Cracker Barrel. Disappointed the my biscuit craving was denied fulfillment, we turned around and exited, making our way to a nearby Mexican restaurant that had not been scared shut.
We dined among the empty booths and afterward made the treacherous journey on the dry, paved roads across the street to Babies-R-Us to pick up some necessary supplies. Barely a soul was found inside, aside from three bored employees. Fear had transformed our city into a ghost town.
Similarly, the pursuit of our God-given adventures is often derailed by any number of circumstances: weather, work obligations, life responsibilities, to-do lists, putting out fires, etc.
I’m currently leading a men’s small group, and we are walking through a fantastic series called The Great Adventure by Robert Lewis. In the first video lesson, Lewis made a profound statement: “Give yourself permission to take a risk.”
Let that sink in a moment. Why do we need to give ourselves permission? It’s because we’ve been taught to stay off the roads, not venture too far from home, pursue what we already know, remain in a job with the safety of benefits and a pension at the expense of our hearts, and watch other people live the adventure from our recliner.
Throughout this long, bitter winter, I’ve noticed a tendency in myself to put aside the adventure at times. Sometimes it’s for no other reason than being Vitamin D deficient.
As much as I disdain the cold, sometimes we just need to get outside of our warm, comfortable surroundings.
So what did I do over the last couple of wintry weeks? Being “essential personnel” at work, I drove to the office on snow-covered, icy streets, returned home, and downed lots of coffee. I’ve gotten pretty good at driving on snow over the last five years, as I’ve had plenty of opportunities to improve my snow driving skills. In addition, I found some much-needed time to work on my entrepreneurial endeavors and play a little in the snow. And of course I grabbed my camera and headed outdoors. While I didn’t find that “perfect” shot that I was searching for, I was able to snag a photo of something you don’t see everyday – the Virginia Beach oceanfront blanketed in snow, with the high tide mark causing the snow to taper off.
We can’t always choose our circumstances, but we can choose to see each one as part of the adventure. After all, why should we let a little snow (or life circumstances) derail our grand adventures?