Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Weathering the Storm

It's been a while since I've written anything on here, mostly because I am in the final push to complete my Master's of Divinity degree from Bethel Seminary.  My schedule this Fall has been harried at best, but I realized how much I missed engaging ideas with people and sharing thoughts on a regular basis.  I have a tendency, at times, to try to make things grandiose and magnificent rather than just allowing simplicity to rule the day.  I realized that simple is good and figured, I didn't have to write "War and Peace" every time that I sat down to write a post.

What significantly struck me as I was contemplating all of this was the presence of Hurricane Sandy ( a.k.a., Frankenstorm) bearing down upon the East coast of the United States.  Having personally experienced a fair minimum of weather-related disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes, I was bracing myself for what the media was telling me.  Last year, when hit with a major storm, the worst thing that happened was that a piece of siding blew off of the house.  How insignificant in comparison to what others have experienced.

A simple look at this morning's news was enough to make me realize how incredibly fortunate that I was.  Lives have been lost.  Property has been damaged and lost.  Things have been turned upside down.  The City that Never Sleeps has actually been forced into closure, resembling the streets of a deserted town from the likes of "The Walking Dead" of some other apocalyptic show.  There is no telling when things will be restored or the amount of money required to bring things back to their former state.

As I sit here thinking all of this through, it reminds me that there are sometimes when we need to weather the storms ourselves.  Our houses are in the path of destruction and we need to brace ourselves for the worst.  There are other times when we remain unscathed by the destruction that has wreaked havoc upon thousands.  When I find myself spared from destruction, it certainly isn't reason to say, "Wow!  God must love me more."  Conversely, when overwhelmed by destruction, it shouldn't give me reason to say, "Wow!  God must really hate me."  This kind of theology is destructive.

No, when I find myself in one or the other of these extremes, I can simply say, "Thank you, God."  If I have weathered the storm and I am still alive, I am blessed.  While I may lose things that are replaceable or not, if I am still intact, I'm doing well.  If I manage to avoid the path of destruction, I might still be cognizant of the fact that I could still be hit in the future, not to create undue fear or anxiety in me, just to give me a healthy sense of reality.

I am praying for all who have been impacted by this storm.  I've had my fair share of storms recently, most of them weren't physical storms, but emotional and spiritual.  I am grateful to have weathered the storms.  Here I stand, I can do no other.