Sunday, March 9, 2014

Frost Heave Theology

I cannot keep silent any longer. I have been patient all winter. I have to comment on the horrendous crop of frost heaves that we have this year.

Those readers who are flatlanders may not know what frost heaves are. They are not potholes. They are the naturally forming speed bumps produced by the freezing and expanding of the ground under the roads.

Frost heaves are giant dips and peaks in the surface of the road, which cause vehicles to hit bottom and passengers to hit roofs. They form in the winter and subside in spring, just in time for mud season. 

They force drivers to go ten or twenty mph on roads that we would normally cruise at forty or fifty. Consequently they make any trip twice as long and ten times more uncomfortable.

Most would say that frost heaves are a natural phenomenon. Others put a metaphysical slant on the bumpy roads, calling them the Yankee equivalent of the Apostle Paul’s “thorn in the flesh.” The apostle writes, “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.”

Many commentators think that his “thorn” was an illness. I think the apostle was describing Roman roads in winter. His words certainly describe my experience of frost heaves very accurately.  (Except for the “conceited" part.)

Another possibility is that frost heaves are the work of God, sent by the Creator to slow me down. God knows I do not need any more speeding tickets. That officer was very nice to let me off with a warning the other week when I was on a smooth stretch of road, but I should not tempt God or local law enforcement too often.

Yes, that is what it is. God is forcing me to “slow down and smell the roses” as they say in rose country. Here it is “slow down and smell the wood smoke.” Therefore I have heeded the call of God. I now slowly jostle over the country roads, appreciating God’s plan in every bump in the road of life.

If I were a country singer I would write a song about the frost heaves. But as it is, I will sing praises to God for the free chiropractic adjustment of my spinal column I have received while traveling the roads of Sandwich, New Hampshire. But I am still praying for spring to come quickly.

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