Sunday, October 2, 2016

Stay Alert--the Hurricane to Our South Version

Today I am distracted.  There's a huge hurricane to our south, and even though it won't affect the weather here in south Florida for several days, there's some part of me that wants to go fill the water bottles.

I won't do that--today is my day to be in charge at church while my pastor is away, so at least I won't keep checking the National Hurricane Center's website or the blogs at Weather Underground.  I will pray for everyone in the path of this storm--the people of Haiti, Jamaica, and Cuba have far fewer resources than I do.

I keep thinking of all the admonitions throughout the Bible that we stay awake and watchful.  I know that the ancients didn't have hurricanes in mind, but having a hurricane in the neighborhood can trigger an alertness that can be valuable in many ways.

Hurricane season reminds me of how little of my life is really in my control, and the idea that I'm in charge is such an illusion. I can no more control many of the currents (economic, health, political) that affect my life than I can control the weather.

I could live in denial of my essential powerlessness; many people do. I could pretend that benign powers bend to my will as I cast my votes and save my money and do all the things which may or may not lead me into healthy old age. I could eat my vegetables while I salt away money and try to believe it will all work out. Or I could become that sneering cynical person who is so tiring in social settings. Or I could become comatose with hopelessness.

Happily, I have another option. I can trust in God, who has promised that my needs will be met. I can trust that this creator, who has provided such a glorious planet, has not left us all alone to the whims of currents that we can barely perceive.

And I can help those who will come out on the other side of this storm as the unfortunate victims.  Let us all remember them, in advance, today as we meet and worship and pray.

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