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North winds blow! South winds blow!

August 30, 2012

This morning I crossed the bay bridge to get to work.  As I drove across the expanse it was raining lightly, but the weather to the right of me looked awful, and the weather to the the left of me looked even worse.  After a week of preparing for a hurricane that never came, yucky weather is finally showing up all on its own.

Guess it didn’t need no stinkin’ hurricane to tell it when to rain, bluster, and boom.

It’s easy to look at a weather map and assume we know what’s going to happen.  We do the same with our lives, you know.  We think we’ve paid our dues, done the work (“I’m baby-stepping!), but that’s no guarantee that our personal weather won’t turn stormy unexpectedly.  It happens.  And we often have no control over it.

I can think of a handful of moments in my life when I realized that in an instant, everything changed.  From that moment on, nothing would be the same, ever.  Permanent alteration. Unwelcome permanent alteration. The kind of storm that sucked the breath so far out of me that I eventually began to wonder if I’d forgotten how to inhale, because my lungs felt completely collapsed in the middle of the vortex.

They say, whomever “they” are, that the only thing we can really control in a storm is our own personal response to it.  I reckon they are right.  And I also reckon that how we respond to storms demonstrates what we believe about ourselves and God. The self-loathers, the victims, and the orphan spirits tend to reveal themselves during storms.   We shouldn’t really feel badly when we look in the mirror and see them there.  Knowing they are present is half the battle.  Once we see them, we can then usher them out the door and make room for health and wholeness in a part of our lives that had been quietly controlled by something that was actually unhealthy and binding, rather like a terrible pair of worn-out underwear that pinches, creeps, and never gets washed.

You’re welcome for that visual.

 

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