SEE IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THIS SUNDAY AT THE END OF THIS BLOG!
We in the south have five seasons: winter, spring, summer, fall, and hurricane. I’ve lived through many hurricanes, some minor, some pretty major. One characteristic of hurricanes is the eye. The wind and rain spiral in a counterclockwise direction until ultimately an area of clear weather forms near the center of the circulation. It’s all chaos in the storm, except for that eye, where there are blue skies and calm air.
Every now and then, we get caught up in so many circumstances that creates worry and struggle and family or workplace drama. During this time, it seems that each day brings a new crisis or situation with which to deal. Sometimes there is little time to pray before we have to make some very hard decisions. We make the best decisions we can with the information we have. In such situations I felt like I would explode if one more crisis appeared in my life. How would I deal with all of this stress? When would it all end? How long could I keep dealing with these multiple crises?
As we take all this to prayer, we may wonder out loud, How am I able to deal with all this? Sometimes in the middle of a crisis situation, God meets me in the eye of this life storm. As convoluted as the situations are through the chaos of the situation, we can stay relatively calm. We can make decisions. We can cope. As we sit in prayer, looking around the eye of my storm, we might notice several things:
· The reason we are in the eye is because of God’s generous presence. God has my back. We are not able to go through this alone. God has given us the gifts of prayer, presence, and people. At the height of the storm, if we lean on God and don’t try to do it all ourselves, God will be there, right next to us, supporting us. And God, being ever faithful, is always there for us.
· The eye of each of our storms are made up of many graces. There are graces we ask for and some we don’t, graces like wisdom, patience, compassion, hope, strength, and empathy. All are given exactly when we need them. These graces make the peace and calm of the eye possible.
· The eye of our storm holds God’s power and inspiration. Standing in the eye, we can feel God as creator, redeemer, and sanctifier. We can feel connected to God. We are understood. We are inspired by God’s love and care for us.
· The eye of our storm holds the truth. In the surrounding storm were doubts, fear, desolation, and temptations that are not of God. Focusing on the things in the storm leads us down a scary path. The eye holds God’s truth and peace, which gives us strength to endure the difficulties we face.
At some point in our lives, we all face a storm of some kind. Next time we find ourselves in the midst of a life storm, notice where we are standing. Are we caught up in the storm’s swirl of fear and chaos? Or are we watching the storm from the peaceful center of the eye? Remember that God is always there, always inviting us into the eye of the storm.
Speaking of storms…Hurricane Ian is supposed to be hitting Florida in a day or so, then travelling up the east coast somewhere.
With that said, let us pray first to keep those in the path of the storm, that God may invite them into the eye (the calm) as God keeps watch over them.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Here is the latest news for us at St. John’s, Hopewell. With the threat of lots of rain from Hurricane Ian this coming weekend, we have made the decision to postpone our Outdoor Service and Picnic from this coming Sunday, October 2nd to Sunday, October 16th at 10:30 AM at Coggins Point. AGAIN, Services at Coggins Point this Sunday, October 2nd has been POSTPONED.
WE WILL HAVE ALL SERVICES THIS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2ND AT THE CHURCH. THERE WILL BE SERVICES AT BOTH 8 AM AND 10:30 AM. DO NOT SHOW UP AT COGGINS FARM THIS SUNDAY.
With many blessings as always, may God keep an eye on all of us through our disappointments and storms, as God keeps watch on us today and always. Fr. Bill+