Snow day. (Sometimes it’s okay)

Years ago, I read about a college president who had a practice of placing a statue of a fox in the college quad on a random snowy day. When it happened, classes were canceled for the day. Papers that would have been due were not. Speeches that would have been given were not.

And because it was a residential college, with people living on campus, it meant that people could see each other and play. Or sleep.


I’m writing this on a snowy day in northern Indiana. Neither Nancy nor I have to be at offices today. The pantry is stocked.

And yet we are electronically and emotionally connected, at least potentially, to all the problems in the world. We are able, simply by clicking, to hear about each thing each acquaintance is experiencing, and all the irrational outrages their acquaintances are experiencing.

And feel the anxiousness of the outrage without work to distract us.


I know.

If I were adequately spiritual, I would simply have faith, I would just stop looking at all that stuff you share.

I’m not sure, however, it’s about being adequately spiritual.

There are habits of thought and thumb that are part of our lives. There are shortcuts of speech that short-circuit the work of learning to think in more healthy ways (“simply have faith” may be one of those). There are relationships and journeys that do matter to our attention and concern (like the drive Hope made to the doctor for Ben’s one year physical).

I think, perhaps, there may be two short lessons in this word to you today.

First, accept that changing our patterns of life takes time and often isn’t a battle between good and evil. It’s choosing helpful (which sometimes actually is a nap).

Second, sometimes it’s okay to put the statue of fox in the quad (or Dax on Nancy’s chair) and say, “it’s a snow day.”