There was a knock at the door. Proto who was almost dozing off on the sofa was alerted. He had been out clearing a two-day old snow in the drive way. Tired and cold, he prepared a cup of coffee to warm himself from the inside. The room was well-heated but he felt he equally needed the coffee to warm him from the inside.
As he felt drowsy, he wondered why coffee couldn’t keep him awake as it does to so many people. He had really wanted to be awake to read his Bible and prepare for the conference that was due that evening.
He went and opened the door. It was his friend Nico.
“Life can be as slippery as driving a long a winter road”, Nico introduced his frustrations, putting words to what was already perceivable from his dejected countenance.
“Tell me about it!” Proto responded with a cautious smile lest he exacerbate what might be a volatile situation.
The tone of Proto’s response was a mixture of, ‘I am familiar with the tragedies in life’, and ‘let me hear about what has happened’.
Nico looked emptily into the room wondering what lesson Proto would pull out of what he was about to tell him. Proto was always looking for spiritual lessons in everything happening around him. In this way, wherever he found himself, it was a classroom and everything a teacher.
Nico had an appointment with a doctor. He had a condition that was getting worse by the day. The specialist had been overbooked. He had been waiting for his turn for the past six months.
Finally, the day came. The doctor had promised that he would do his best to get the condition averted. Nico woke up in good time knowing that it was winter. Winter surprises could range from the car’s doors failing to open to the engine refusing to start. As he started driving he realised that the ground was extremely slippery.
Half way to town to meet the doctor, an on-coming trailer lost control. It was traumatising seeing the trailer “skiing”. He realised it when it was already too late. The trailer was coming down-hill. The attempts to brake only made the big thing ski even more. For the first time in his life, Nico realised how one can become a close neighbour with death without notice. It was a miracle that he survived. The car behind him was not as lucky. He knew it had been crushed but eager to reach town before the traffic chaos would close him in at the accident spot, he never stopped. Little did he know that it was the doctor he was going to see that was driving behind him.
The doctor had everything going for him until the winter conditions on the road brought his life to an abrupt end.
Proto and Nico sat there for a while, quiet. After their moment of silence, Proto drew a deep breath, posed like he wanted to say something but withdrew. He bowed his head, burying it in his hands and mumbled something. The doctor was an acquaintance.
“What we need in winter is salt—a lot of salt”, Proto finally managed to lament.
Nico looked lost. He couldn’t figure out the relevance of salt in the circumstance.
“What do you mean?” Nico inquired.
“I know they didn’t salt the road. If they did, the salt would have melted the ice and life would have been saved.
Proto had just grasped one of the most important aspects of Christians being the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13).
Christians can stop many tragedies that could otherwise result in people sliding into death along the slippery road of life. If they apply themselves on the road of life, they would melt the ice of ignorance and unbelief thereby making braking apply.
“May the spiritual winter not make somebody slide into eternal death because I didn’t apply my salt on their road”, Nico concluded.
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