Leadership, EKGs and Dancing
Do you ever find yourself lying in bed thinking “Well, that was a strange day!”? Maybe you’ve had a string of those days and you find yourself muttering about what a bizarre week you had. This has been a regular occurrence for me, and at some point I realized that life in general is kind of odd.
Yesterday began with a standard routine, trying to get two teen girls up and ready for school. My work day included a few hours at a Leadership Conference, which is when the phone calls began. Daughter #1 wasn’t feeling well. By the 4th call, I asked her grandmother to pick her up from school.
I wrapped up a meeting, called the doctor’s office and was told my daughter should probably have an EKG, as many of her symptoms were related to what we thought was a heart palpitation. A trip to Urgent Care was followed by a hastily eaten dinner. We then had 15 minutes left to make it to our dance lesson.
I’ve obviously left out most of the details, but in the interest of time and your attention, I will summarize with: the leadership conference was thought provoking, my daughter is ok (problems were likely a side effect of medication), and Bob and I enjoyed learning some Salsa moves. Just another average day with the Aldens, right?
While my family routinely has challenges to deal with, I am aware that we haven’t had to deal with the massive storms that come to many people. Cancer, major injury/illness or financial distress has thankfully not been present in my immediate family. I sometimes find myself fearful of if/when it might come.
When I’m thinking properly, I recognize that waiting for the storm to hit is just a way of robbing my peace and joy. These major trials may come. If they do, I pray that God will give me the strength and courage to face them. If they don’t, I have enough choppy water in my life to constantly rock my little boat and cause me to keep my eyes on the one who can quiet the sea.
Just last week, our church group had a discussion about the story in Matthew 8 where Jesus was asleep in the boat in the midst of the storm. The disciples were panicked and fearful for their lives. They woke Jesus, and His response was, “Why are you afraid, Oh you of little faith?” So, our question was, what should the disciples have done?
There were many opinions that circulated throughout the discussion, but my thoughts are simply this: they should have rested next to Jesus. Easier said than done, I know! The reality is, the storm did come. It did rock their boat, violently. The safest, most secure place at that moment was right there, in the boat, but peacefully in the presence of the Savior.
Had the disciples been on the shore, observing the storm from afar, they may have marveled at its power and subsequent dissipation. Yet, they wouldn’t have been personally affected in any great way. It was the process of being in the middle of the “action” and witnessing the peace and power of Jesus that taught them something profound.
The remarkable thing about this story (beyond the big lesson in the storm) is that they didn’t get to shore, have a nice meal and call it a day. They keep traveling, Jesus healed two demon-possessed men, a herd of pigs ran into the sea, and then Jesus and the crew got back into the boat after being asked to leave. How’s that for a strange day?
Whether today is smooth sailing or full of choppy waters, let us keep our gaze fixed on Jesus. Better yet, we can take a nap, knowing peace is not just possible, but critical in making it through the storm.