Tonight, Floridians from West Palm Beach to Jacksonville are bracing for a hundred year storm.
Weather reports are projecting that Hurricane Matthew, a powerful category 4 hurricane, will rake the Atlantic coast over the course of three days leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. When it’s all said and done, Florida is likely to have flooding, property damage, wide spread power outages, and potentially loss of life.
There is no way to prepare for this weekend’s events, yet I’ve tried.
I’ve bought gas and ice, removed the bird feeders, brought in the patio furniture; I’ve stocked the fridge, packed an evacuation bag (although we decided to shelter in place). I bought extra dog food, refilled prescriptions, and stock-piled water and snacks.
I’ve watched storm coverage around the clock for nearly twelve hours, and obsessively checked the meteorology twitter feeds.
Then, sometime around hour thirteen of watching and obsessively checking the storm coverage, I realized…
there’s nothing I can do any way.
Not. One. Thing.
All I’ve done is work myself up by trying to control the weather.
Human beings love believing that we are in control. That we have a say. That we can control all sorts of things that are truly uncontrollable–
like other people or which way the wind blows.
It’s been said before, but worth saying again: the only thing we can control is ourselves.
We can only control our reaction. Our fear. Our anxiety. And ultimately our ability to step forward in faith in spite of all those things.
Matthew is my reminder to practice acceptance.
Acceptance that there are things I cannot change, things I can’t control.
And even though I’m not in control, everything will still be okay.
Things will work out.
Whether I’m obsessing or sleeping or panicking or pacing…
likely things will be better because I’m NOT in control.
By relinquishing my belief that I can control, I demonstrate my belief that God is in control.
And when we let go and let God
that’s when magic really happens.
Stay dry, friends.
See you again when the sun shines.