I had to laugh when I opened the letter. It was from the State of Connecticut Department of Transportation. It was an official notice that due to budget constraints they were no longer going to plow the sidewalks in front of the church during the winter months. It informed us that a notice was going to the city of Norwich alerting them to the change in status. .
The letter went on to explain that after the West Main Street road project was completed in 1984 they should have transferred responsibility for clearing the snow off the sidewalk to property owners. Instead, out of the goodness of their heart, they kept on plowing and clearing snow all these years. Now it was proving to be too expensive to continue this practice and they were going to do what should have been done 24 years ago.
I took my letter and called the man whose name was on the letter. He wasn't in so I spoke with a man who was going to relay my message.
I told him I wanted to know two things. First, I wanted to know if they were going to reimburse us for all the money we spent on shoveling the sidewalk for the last two dozen years since they had been taking responsibility for it. No one ever told us and we either did it ourselves or paid someone. Actually the city of Norwich already thought we were responsible for it. I'll never forget the morning that a police officer dropped in and warned us we were going to get fined if we didn't get out there and shovel. (I wish I knew the State was responsible then!) Obviously they were negligent in their responsibility and we were paying the price for this neglect. I told him I could probably research it and get back to them. (I did laugh as I said this.)
Then, since he didn't hang up on me, I told him that if they expected to reap any savings from this cut in services, they had better investigate whoever was telling them that the sidewalks were being plowed all these years. Obviously it was ending up in someone's pocket who wasn't doing the work. Even he laughed at this. Then he went on to say that there were a few spots that had been plowed and by law they had to notify everyone in writing so there wouldn't be any misunderstanding.
This whole mess got me thinking. It reminded me of the grace that Christ brings into our lives. It comes to us whether we accept it or not. When the Bible says that God gave his only begotten son so that the world might be saved, it implies that this is a benefit that we all can claim if we want it. We don't have to do anything. It is part of the covenant that God made with David long ago and Abraham, Moses and Noah before them. It is a gift that comes to us simply because our address is planet earth.
A lot of people live their whole life not knowing the gift is there for them. They try to earn their own salvation. They live life as if the blessings were not theirs to receive. Then one day they come face to face with God and learn that his love was there for the taking from the very start. All they had to do was claim it.
I hope and pray that you won't wait for an official notice to begin enjoying the benefits of a life with God at your side. Embrace him today and be blessed.