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Blowin' in the wind

Earlier this morning, Camille and I watched our neighbors trampoline lift off of the ground and flip over the fence into our backyard. Then while I was driving to the church I saw a skeleton head from another neighbors’ Halloween decorations rolling eerily across the street. And as I’m writing this, the winds from Hurricane Zeta are whipping around the church building with a fierceness.

I’m reminded this morning that life has a way of blowing us and the things in our life that we thought were secure around. It’s a scary and frightful thing to have our world upended in a moment. Modern studies in economics, science, and technology have all attempted to mitigate some of the uncertainties of life. And yet, for all of our advancements, life just happens sometimes.

And life, at least for me, can be summed up in the three cyclical and repetitive stages that we go through. The first stage is when the people and things in our life are predictable and routine. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everything in your life is great but it is familiar and steady. This is the stage where you know what to expect -- or what you might call “normal.” And many people live in this stage for many years or even decades.

But then, swiftly and unexpectedly, life will blow you into stage number two. Maybe you get a job promotion, or have to relocate, maybe an aging parent needs more assistance, or you get laid off, or fill in the blank. Stage number two is a time of disruption and uncertainty. How we respond to this stage, in part, depends on the people that we have relationships with during this time. They will either help us navigate through the chaos or add additional confusion to an already exhausting situation.

And then, as the proverbial heavy winds and rain subside, we will embark onto stage three. This is a time when a “new normal,” emerges. It is when things slowly become predictable and familiar again -- even though they are different than the normal you knew in stage one. And you may stay in this stage for a while again before the cycle repeats.

So, I’m not sure what stage you find yourself in today or if you even feel like this three stage cycle is something that resonates with your lived experience but I believe the church is at her best when it provides places where people can find meaningful rich relationships. Because the roots of deep friendships in life help us navigate through pain, frustration, loss, new beginnings and upended dreams.

As the body of Christ, our hope is to be like Christ, who was steady and true even when the winds of life blew wildly.

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