Dealing with the Storms of Life
This morning before dawn the heavy rains brought down a large tree on the property near a house where a family―with parents, children and grandparents, are living. It blocked the street and took out power to the surrounding homes and to a nearby school, which registered a 2-hour delay as a result. By mid morning all was well: the tree was chopped up and moved off the road, the power lines were up, the meter box on the house (which had been torn off during the incident) was re-attached, and power was restored, including to the school.
This is what I know:
– I know that the roots must have not been buried deeply enough to give the tree the foundation it needed, so when the rains came they softened the ground and up came the tree, roots and all.
– I know that all the traffic had to be re-routed and the tree that no one had ever noticed before became a barrier to the journey people needed to make.
– I know that the lack of roots not only disturbed the flow of traffic and made people late for work but also stopped the flow of power to those who were counting on it to get them through the tasks of daily life today: washing up, brewing coffee, shaving, blow-drying hair, putting in the laundry, making toast, checking emails.
– I know that people who took electricity and roads for granted, didn’t take them for granted this morning.
– And I know that some men must have gone to work today only to discover that their socks didn’t match, because they dressed in the dark.
– I know I am very grateful to God for not letting the tree fall on the house, and for not allowing the downed power lines set the house on fire.
– I know that people worked hard to get things cleared and restored so that other people could continue with their day.
– And I know it made me think seriously about my life.
This is what I don’t know:
– I don’t know how deep my roots are.
– I don’t know what kind of storms can soften my ground and cause my foundation to weaken and fail.
– I don’t always know exactly how firm my foundation is to begin with.
– I don’t know what kinds of things suspend the flow of traffic in my soul and reroute the Grace that God sends me.
– I don’t know what I really need to help me carry out the tasks of daily life: fidelity to the Rule, attention to the people whose lives touch mine, fulfillment of responsibilities to those under my care.
– And I don’t know what sorts of things destroy my attachment to my Source.
– I don’t really know the depth of Divine Providence in my life.
Or the importance of silent prayer.
Or my own need for communion with Jesus to get me safely through the day.
Or that little things that I never notice can make me lose the way.
– I don’t know why I take so much for granted in my spiritual life, or why I don’t know how much I need to be attuned to those things that take out my power.
– I don’t even know what happens when I try to dress my soul in the dark.
So I wonder what you know about your soul.
And what you might not know.
Perhaps, like me, a little storm now and then might help you draw closer to the things that matter, the One who really matters.
Perhaps a dark hour might bring great light to your soul.
That is my prayer for you: not that you will experience a dark hour, but that the darkness that invariably comes to you, unbidden, unexpected, will be the means of renewing your attachment to Our Lord, deepening your roots, and making you more fully aware of how much you are loved by the One in Whom you are grounded.
May He be your Everything today and tomorrow. And all days.
And may all your storms today be little.