What do you do when you look at the television and see a category 4 hurricane headed your way?
Unfortunately, we are utterly and completely powerless in the face of a 120 mph hurricane that is headed towards our house, our family, and our life. As human beings who strive for control we come face to face with the ultimate reality - there is so much in life that is beyond our control.
You see, hurricanes don't just come in the form of weather patterns, wind and rain. Every day we face hurricanes at work and in life.
A sudden illness. A sick child. A car accident. Divorce. Job loss. Company reorganization. Financial crisis. The death of a loved one. Loss of business, etc.
The winds of life blow. The conditions get worse. Hurricanes come at us from all directions.
So what do we do? Do we give up? Do we live in fear? Do we hide under the covers or do we face the reality of the storm, adapt and deal with the damages it brings?
The answer comes from a boy named Joshua. As a hurricane was approaching our town years ago Joshua’s mom was in his room telling him that that she and his dad were getting a divorce. With tears streaming down his face he said, "You know Mom, this is really hard but I’m going to try to be strong and positive and trust it will all work out."
As she told me this story my heart just melted. This boy, whose pain was unbearable, was choosing to stay positive as his world was being torn apart. While his levies of strength were breaking and the pain was flooding in, he was mustering up the courage and faith to reinforce his walls and stay strong in the face of adversity. He didn't act in denial. He accepted the situation. And he knew he had to deal with it; with courage, positivity, hope and faith.
I've come to realize that, like Joshua, every one of us will come face to face with hurricanes in our life. We will come to the realization that our situation is beyond our control. During these moments we are meant to realize that we can’t do it alone. In our powerlessness we are meant to discover the ultimate power. In our fear we are meant to find our faith. And in our need for control we are meant to find a peace that comes when we surrender. We are meant to stay positive and overcome whatever challenges come our way.
I don't know why we have to face hurricanes but people like Joshua and my own heart show me the way to overcome them.
Storms are going to happen. But the sun always rises and shines again.