Watching coverage of the hurricane got me thinking. This morning I saw the streets of some city covered with sand. In the background a frontend loader and a bobcat were trying to clear the street so that people could once again travel it. Another scene was from downtown Mahattan, with chunks of wood, pieces of shattered windows, metal, stray drain pipes all cluttering the main road through the heart of the entertainment district. I have been there and normally it is crazy busy with cars, trucks, busses, etc. Not today. Basically few were getting anywhere today.
On our spiritual journeys travel can sometimes be a problem. I know when I drive my car I sometimes get distracted and don't see everything I should. Thus, I hit a car a couple of weeks ago, and she was sitting (or moving) down the middle of the street minding her own business. Sometimes junk just gets in the way and we have to slow down or swerve to miss it. Then there are moments like Hurricane Sandy. It is hard to describe times like this, but they are the times our feet are taken out from under us. This is the big stuff, the "God really disappointed me" stuff. Or the "I cannot believe I did/he did/she did/they did" moments in life. These are the times when we literally freeze and cannot seem to move. It is like there is no way out. What are we to do?
I have a couple of suggestions. The first is simply have faith. I cannot always explain (maybe rarely) what God is up to at any given moment. I am not of the notion that everything that happens is a God teaching lesson. God can teach me things in any situation, but that does not mean he brought it on me just to teach me, or show me, or punish me, or reward me. In spite of it all, I have my faith and hope in God and his son, Jesus.
Secondly, start cleaning up the mess. It might mean some hard apologies, or some cleaning house. It might mean ending friendhips, or forgiving those who have hurt us. We might even need to seek out help, from a counselor, or a friend who has been there and done that. It might even mean visiting the preacher.
Lastly, it requires that we just get going. We try and return to life. We will have a lot of work to do, fears to overcome, lessons to incorporate, events to forget as best we can. Too often too many of us, once we have a spiritual disaster come into our lives, give up the journey all together. We sit in the easy chair, look for the remote and stop trying. That is the last thing we need to do.
So as the East cleans up from Sandy, let's each of us prepare our emergency kits to be ready for the next hurricane to come into our spiritual walks as well. Just as there will be another hurricane, so to troubles will arrive in our spiritual lives as well.