Thursday, May 16, 2013

Battered by the storms of life!

Do you ever feel like you have been battered by the storms of life?  I think that this is a common perception as it seems that we can’t catch a break.  To quote the Great American philosophers on Hee Haw, “If it weren’t for bad luck, we’d have no luck at all”!


Well a couple of weeks ago, I was literally battered by a storm.  At our ranch, we recently got a new wind turbine.  One of the only things that we are required to do, for maintenance, is to set the brake if the winds get above 50 mph.  Well, a storm was coming into the area, as I got home from work.  I decided that I probably needed to go set the brake, even though it did not seem “wise”.  Between the many lightning strikes, 50 mph winds, 60 foot metal tower and darkness, my cell phone flashlight and I did not stand much of a chance!  The wind turbine sounded like a helicopter and I could feel the electricity in the stainless steel tower.  This sophisticated instrument, combining physics, engineering and nature’s power has a “CHEESY” breaking system.  I physically have to take a wrench and tighten a bolt inside the stainless steel tower.  I was trying to do this in the less than enviable conditions described above.  I had the brake almost completely set, but wanted to crank the wrench one more time to protect this delicate instrument.  As I really pulled on the wrench, it slipped and I lurched forward hitting my head on the opening of the tower.  I knew that it hurt, but did not know the full extent of the damage.  About that time Jake came out to see if he could help.  He was yelling to me, but between my lack of auditory acumen, the wind and my head ringing, I could not make out what he was saying.  I headed towards the house and realized that I had blood all over my face and clothes.  I left a blood trail across the back porch and into the house before I got the universal first aid bandage, a wash cloth.


As I looked at my head wound, I started to think of what, who, and where my options were for overcoming this injury.  As I thought this through, I decided “I can take care of this myself!  This is what I do!  I don’t need anyone’s help”.  I got out all of the needed supplies and proceeded to anesthetize the wound so I could put in some stitches.  As I started to try to place some sutures, I found that the dexterity required to perform this procedure was lacking, as I tried to work in the mirror. 


Perhaps it was the concussion talking, but I decided to coach my 17 year old son Jake through the procedure. He was excited about the opportunity and performed the procedure admirably.


My skin and my pride have started to heal.  As I have thought about this literal storm battering me, I have realized that this is much like our figurative storms of life.  We venture into places where the odds are stacked against us, and we are surprised when we have an untoward outcome?  What are we thinking?  Then to compound the problem, we depend on ourselves and our own abilities to overcome the problem that we find ourselves in.  Many times, the best solution is to humble ourselves and ask someone for help.  You may find this surprising, but often it is a blessing to them to be able to bless you with the help that you need.  We actually can rob someone of a blessing by trying to do everything ourselves. 


So is there a moral to this story?

1.) When you find yourself in a storm of life with figurative lightning strikes, darkness and 50mph winds, take cover!   If you don’t take cover, don’t be surprised if you find yourself battered and bleeding.

2.) Once you are battered and bleeding, don’t be afraid to ask your Christian brother (or son) for assistance.

3.)  Providing spiritual first aid to a friend can be a blessing to the first responder and the patient!


James 1:2-5 says “2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

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