Snowflakes on the Sabbath

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Copyright 1999

It was early Sunday evening when the snow began to fall. It was the first snowfall of the season in Alaska. I was in the living room with six rambunctious children playing about me, when all of a sudden I realized that it was deadly quiet. I looked around to find all my children all lined up kneeling on the couch with their noses pressed up against the large plate glass window. Then, just as suddenly as the quiet had come, one small voice timidly asked, may we go outside and look at the snow? We'll be good.  There was another silent pause of two seconds then the whole room erupted with children's voices begging me to let them go play in the snow.

I was aghast! It was Sunday! The children knew that was not what we do on Sunday. I had to lay down the law. I couldn't let something like this get out of hand. Then, I glanced out the window. The big wet flakes were flying everywhere. The ground was almost covered. It was sure to be the best snowman-making snow ever.

My mind snapped back resolutely. "No! This is Sunday," my voice sounded with the same resoluteness. The children's faces fell and their little voices uttered an "Oh," which tapered off in unison.

They all turned their attention back to the window again. The snow was swirling dizzily everywhere. The room was silent from the mesmerizing effect.

My mind snapped to attention again. This time I saw in my mind my children with their noses pressed up against the window and the Savior's too. He turned to look into my eyes pleadingly and I crumbled. I heard myself say, "It's the first snow of the season...go get your snow gear on and go outside." The children tumbled out of the room each to their snow gear each with a surprised reprieve written across their faces. As the room emptied, there came a sweet happiness that settled over me and I knew I had done the right thing.

Years later I came to know that the way you keep the Sabbath is between you and your Savior.  For one person walking in fresh fallen snow and marveling at the beauty the Lord has given him may be keeping the Sabbath holy, where as for another the snow may only represent snowmen and snowball fights.  It is what is in your heart that counts.

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

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