Saturday, March 28, 2009

Stranded on a Saturday Morning

So, here I am. Stranded. Unable to get home due to weather conditions and overwhelmed by my lack of control on any of the recent circumstances. I feel powerless and much to my family's displeasure, my untamed ADD induced control freak is starting to loose her cool. So what did I do? I did what any woman in my situation would want to do...I kicked the family out. ;-) Hubs agreed to take the hyper and pent up toddler and give me time to focus on reading and studying. Did I mention that this last week was my reading week for school and I have had the opportunity to read nothing? Well...yup, it was.

So, here I am. Stuck. Alone in a cold hotel room with Fox News muted on the TV and a high stack of books to my side screaming to be read. I have emails stacked up, laundry that must be done, cleaning back home that has to be attended to, bills needing to be needing to get moving onward. I'm mourning the loss of my grandmother deeply and every moment spent in this town filled with memories of her is increasing my sorrow. I want to get out, to go home. But then when I get home, there will be memories of her everywhere there too. So you see, my mind is scrambled and going at 100 miles a minute and I've only mentioned a small fraction of the things running through my head.

So, here I am. Exacerbated. Unable to accomplish much of anything at all and totally annoyed by my inability to control this situation one iota. I'm upset, I'm sad, depressed, angry, irritated, irrational, over emotional, stressed out and a bit panicked. I feel as if I'm caught in an undertow, my lungs screaming for a breath of air, my eyes burning for the sun, my limbs flailing about trying to find something to hold on to and then...

There I am. Safe. Readjusting to a new world while being comforted by the arms of my Savior. All morning the same words have been running through my mind like the gentle whisper of the wind. "Be Still". God told us in Psalms to "Be still and know that I am God." But in order to know, in order to focus enough on God to know God, that which we can know of God, we must first be still. How hard it really is to be still in our world. It has certainly been a chaotic few weeks for me and I could probably say that of the past few years. Life going at warp speed; often at a speed that feels that it can loose control at any moment. Then I thought some more about this being still.

So, here I am. Overwhelmed. Trying to figure out how to get all the water out of my lungs, how to breathe again. Some might say, "but you're in seminary, you're a preacher, why are you having fears and stress, why are you filled with sorrow when you know the deeper theologically presets to life and death. Why are you questioning?" You see, it's like being one of the disciples in Mark 4 who venture into the sea. They are with Jesus; they have Jesus right there in their boat. And yet, when the storm arises, their most innocent and human emotions take over and they fear. They awake Jesus and ask Him to help. Can't He see that they are all about to drown, all about to die, and why isn't He doing anything? I heard recently that just because Jesus is in our boat, doesn't mean we've stopped being human. God knows that, Christ knew and knows that. Its the faith in knowing that whatever storm we find ourselves in, we are not alone, that indeed Christ is in our boat. We're in the same boat. He understands. He's weathering the same storm with us. He knows we're scared and uncertain. God knew us...God knew we would need help down here to understand ourselves, our emotions, our nature and that which we can know of the nature of God.

So, as I sit here on the shore with Jesus, I can recall just moments ago when the waves seemed to be swallowing me whole. I can hear His voice calling to those waves as he did in Mark 4:39, "Peace, be still." As Christ calmed the waves consuming me, He is also calming me who often attempts to consume myself. What good are the calmed waves, if I myself am not calm or still?

For today, I will be still. I will attempt to quite my mind. To focus my heart, my hurts, my sorrows, my stresses and solidarity to God. It's as if this snow storm that barreled through the Midwest preventing me from getting home, is a catalyst in itself, for me to be still. To think that God could still and calm the storm in my soul through a storm of nature. There is a blessing here. An opportunity for me to embrace. A chance, a gift, of peace and of the moment to be still. God has blocked all other distractions. God is lifting me up today by making me be still.

My prayer then for you, is too embrace the moments in your life where God makes it possible for you to be still. I pray you can realize, as I have for today at least, that we don't have to fill every moment in our lives with activities and plans. That sometimes, all the time, we need to leave time for God to fill our schedules. As hard as it may seem, welcome that red stoplight today. It will only alter a few moments of your day, but in those moments, pray. Take that time to breathe, to be at peace and to be still. Bless you this day and always.


friedmsw said...

Thank you so much for your post. I am particularly struck by the observation that just because Jesus is in the boat does not mean that we stop being human. I know that this does not give me an excuse, but to me it shows that we as humans are wrought with imperfections. That we need Jesus!!

Kerri said...

I like your statement about "welcoming that red light today!" I am learning to be still and boy is it hard! A friend of mine said it's not because I can't be still, it's because I won't. I'm afraid of what might happen if I do. Hmmm!

I was stuck in England for eight days a few years ago due to a terrorist plot in London. Being stuck with not a lot of money, a military base where you're not known, and wondering how in the world I was going to get home. I know exactly how you feel!

How are you today?

David Richardson said...

Good post. Thanks for your transparency.

I've noticed in my own life that it is in the tough times of adversity that God does His best work in me. Funny how that happens, you know?!

Anyway, I hope you have a blessed week. :)

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