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Storms of Life

[caption id="attachment_4196" align="alignright" width="200"] Blog by Associate Mary Ellen George, OPA[/caption] Seeing pictures of endless miles of flooding, of people displaced from their homes from the devastation wrecked by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, I am reminded of both the fragility and preciousness of life.  Such images of toppled homes and cars show us the fragile nature of things and when we see strangers helping each other and the disabled and elderly given appropriate care and concern, the goodness of humankind shines forth and we witness the preciousness of life. Being safely tucked away from the hardships of these storms, I wonder how I would cope with such conditions. How would I handle staying in a shelter with so many other people with no quiet space or privacy?  Even having mundane routines disrupted can be unsettling; or, not having the comforts of home, where I can sit in my favorite recliner and watch sports, use my laptop to check emails, or sew my quilt designs is disconcerting. What if my home was demolished?  How would I start over again and rebuild my life?  I have the privilege of asking these questions from the comfort of my office, but so many are struggling to answer these real-life questions as they find themselves in the eye of a life storm reaching highs and lows perhaps stronger than a physical storm. To lose all your possessions, some holding special memories of a person or event, would be difficult to bear.  Of course, we know that material things can be replaced and that our hearts can heal from the storms of life, but the path to get to new ground is not without obstacles and challenges. All of us experience storms in our life and how we weather these storms reveals much about how we respond to change.  Change is not easy, whether it happens by choice or by uncontrollable circumstances. How do we respond to change?  Do we embrace or resist change when it comes knocking on our door?  Do we give up on what change can teach us or do we give over our controlling nature to God to transform us?  Are we able to ride the tidal wave of uncertainty to see where it will lead us and what will unfold before us?  Change certainly tests our faith, our beliefs, our values and calls us to ponder anew what is important. As a people of faith, we entrust that God will provide for all our needs, maybe not in the ways we might see fit, but in ways that are fitting for us. When we are attuned to God’s ways, we can see the angels in our lives who offer help, encouragement, and hope.  As a people of faith, we believe that God can make good things happen from seemingly impossible situations.  Faith teaches us to believe in possibilities and to entrust our life to a loving, compassionate God who desires the best for each of us. Let us pray to be open to change and to being transformed for the better when we encounter the inevitable storms of life.  Perhaps you are being called to a change in lifestyle of living a consecrated life, serving God’s people.  Why not talk with one of our Vocation Ministers about how you feel led to follow this call.

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