I love the capability of weather forecasters to tell you about weather…precisely.  According to the news report my trip to Winnipeg  the next day was going to be epic.  “Be prepared for the storm of the decade” was the forecast.  Snow, wind, accumulating drifts, hazardous conditions, poor visibility, dangerous driving, freezing cold…the whole gamut.  All these ominous words were uttered the day before I was to fly into the Manitoba provincial capital.

I phoned my contact the night before to check and see if “things were still on”.  He assured me that if I were to get to town before noon I should be ahead of the storm.  I arrived at the airport that morning and checked with Air Canada.  They told me “flights were on time, even early”.  So, we departed.  The pilot alerted us early in the flight that the closer we got to Winnipeg the greater likelihood of turbulence so “let’s keep the seat belts buckled ladies and gentlemen”.

We arrived basically on time.  Visibility was still good but the pilot warned us it was starting to blow and “it was coming”.  I walked outside the terminal to the car rental kiosk and immediately felt his comments.  Man, was it windy.  No snow yet, but crazy wind.  The Hertz lady tried to upgrade me to the SUV–for only $75 more per day.  My budget has always caused me to rent compacts but she was worried I’d be in danger.  We finally settled on a full size for only $10 more per day.  (Thanks Hertz lady).

I got in the car, drove across the city to my meetings.  Yep, it was windy.  But no snow.  I arrived at my gathering and was informed by my colleagues that “it was coming”.  Well, the meeting ended at the end of the day and all scattered glad to be home before “it got here”.  That night I sat with a friend and regularly looked out the window and we agreed, “it was blowing out there” and the snow should be starting soon.  I went to bed glad not to have any early morning appointments.

The next morning I awakened and checked the temperature-a relatively balmy -18 C.  I met up with my friend for breakfast and asked about the accumulation of snow.  He’s a Winnipeger and he snorted–“what snow?  We got about 7 cm.  It missed us entirely,  barely enough to shovel”.

That’s why I say “I (almost) got wiped out in Winnipeg.  It feels kind of funny.  Reminds me on a quote from Winston Churchill, prime minister of Great Britain during WWII, “there is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at, and missed”.

Anybody have a theological reflection on the above?

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