Before I launch into today’s topic, I wanted to address a common question/suggestion/complaint we frequently get. Many of you have asked us to sign our posts because you want to know who wrote what. I get that, some of you may not know all three of us, some of you may be intrigued/appalled at the writing styles of one or more of us, and some of you may just only be interested in only reading one of us.
Frankly,we discussed this at length and decided to not sign these for a couple of reasons. First off, we believe that the differences in our writing styles, experiences, and choice of topics are interesting individually and that if we signed them, there would be biases or selective interpretation based on knowledge of the author rather than an assessment of the material on its own merits. Second, we have been accused of hiding behind anonymity to avoid surprising anyone as to actions or stories from our past that may paint us in a less than stellar light. To that we simply believe you wouldn’t be surprised…disappointed maybe, but not surprised. 🙂 Finally, we aren’t trying to hide it, in many cases you can pretty much figure out the author based on style, context and some of the clues in the writing. If it really important, though, shoot us a comment or ask one of us and we will tell you.
Well, yesterday was a stormy one for the greater DC area. A tornado was reported near Gainesville, flights were cancelled and power was intermittently out. Storms can be frightening to live through, but I have always kind of enjoyed them. It doesn’t matter if is rain or snow, there is something about a big storm I like. Don’t get me wrong, I hate shoveling snow, but during the storm itself, I am generally happy. In thinking about it, it struck me that I actually relax and am peace during them, and I think that it is because the normalcy of the day and the responsibilities of day to day life change.
Granted, it may be the introvert in me, but being able to settle in and have my schedule clear as events are suspended or cancelled is a breath of fresh air. The newly free time, which can now be spent reading, watching a movie, or in a myriad of other activities, is a gift, a burst of freedom in the midst of day-to-day life. Sure, there are responsibilities that require some of that time, but even then the schedule has shifted and that time is now at my discretion, not my schedules.
While I can be at peace and relax when I am safe at home, during a big storm, the same cannot be said for driving or flying in those types of storms. With the wind buffeting, the rain obscuring and the control of the vehicle seemingly at the whims of nature, my blood pressure goes through the roof, my adrenaline kicks in and my entire body gets tense. The difference is that as opposed to being safe at home watching the might of nature and enjoying seeing the lightning and hearing the rain, in a vehicle I am exposed to its power and am at its mercy. This makes me think of the story in the New Testament about the wise and foolish builders and really reinforced some points I have been examining in my devotions this week. While I try to stay away from religion and politics, my faith in God is central to who I am, and I just felt like this was the post for today.
I know I am not a perfect Christian. The longer I live the more I question my ability to be and continue to grow into a man of God…not because of His grace and forgiveness, but because of my weakness and failures. Still, I strive to get there, warts and all. In the parable of the wise and foolish builders, Jesus teaches that the wise man builds on rock so he can withstand the storms, but I think it goes beyond just withstanding. In Psalms, God is referred to as our strong tower, our refuge, etc. These are all indicative of safe places…places where we can observe the storm, yet rest because we are safe from it. I really believe this is at the heart of the wise and foolish builder parable. I truly think that God allows storms to rage in our lives to point out both the futility of trying to stop them under our own power, and to demonstrate how we can be at rest during them if we are protected in our refuge. We can be at such rest that we can appreciate the might of the storm, while sheltered against it. I know there are storms that destroy houses and lives, but I don’t believe that invalidates the point.
So, the next time you are bundled in watching a major storm rage and enjoying the freedom of cancelled plans and the thoughts of curling up with a good book or movie, take a couple of seconds and appreciate the fact that, if you let Him, our heavenly Father will be that safe and inviting place for all the storms in our lives. Have a great weekend!