Winter is expected to descend upon my house in full force this week. We got a brief taste of it in October with our first snowfall. That quickly vanished. This week we got a dusting of snow which is still here as temperatures have not climbed above freezing.
This week however, they're predicting we may get a significant snowfall on Tuesday and Wednesdays with temps dipping to near 0 degrees Fahrenheit or for those of you outside of the U.S., close to -18c. Don't worry, we are used to it here in Minnesota. I can almost guarantee that within a few weeks, hitting those temperatures will mean we will be pulling off our hoods, caps, scarves, mittens and jackets because we will be too warm! Seriously. You get used to it after a bit. Really you do. Ask Diva.
I frequently get asked by people who do not live in Minnesota how on earth we function up here. Since snow has been known to fall as late as May here, we do not generally shut down due to the snow and the cold. How do we manage to survive the long and generally very harsh Minnesota winter? We plan for it and prepare for it, in other words we are proactive rather than simply reactive.
While doing a bit of research for this blog, I came across a few interesting facts.
MNDOT (Minnesota Department of Transportation) has over 770 plows plus 50 reserve plows.
There are approximately 1,474 priority one snowplow drivers and 249 backup drivers.
Last winter the State of Minnesota used 228,866 tons of salt, 76,373 tons of sand and 2.1 million gallons of brine.
MNDOT has 93 Road and Weather Information System stations. In edition to using the weather forecast, the sations also rely on sensors embedded in the pavement to help them determine their plan of action.
Rather than wait for ice to form, they take steps to try to prevent it from forming in the first place through the use of anti-icing chemicals which are applied before or early in a snowfall. They also pre-wet the salt and sand with brine or other chemicals so it sticks to the road instead of blows off the road.
The morning we got our dusting, I counted five snowplows out and about. Although we did not have much snow, they were already hard at work spraying chemicals and spreading salt in order to keep the roads in good winter driving condition.
Long before the snow stops falling, and often before it evn begins, these Minnesota snow plows are out on the road, working hard to keep us safe and mobile.
Far too often we find ourselves spiritually crippled simply because we are reactive rather than proactive. We walk about with our sword in it's scabbard and carelessly wandering about as if we are taking a walk in a park. When we get confronted by and knocked down by the enemy, we wonder what on earth happened! We weren't prepared!
If we do not want to be caught off guard by the enemy, if we want to walk in victory and not defeat than we absolutely must take steps to be prepared at all times. We must immerse ourselves in the Word of God. We must spend time in prayer. We must fill our minds with things which are pleasing to God.
Peter tells us: Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT)
May we stay alert and be prepared at all times!