Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Stormy Times

I apologize for the gap in postings.  In the San Francisco Bay Area we talk about the current weather pattern being influenced by El Nino, The Boy.  In that system we had about a week of very stormy temper tantrums, but for the last week and a half things have quieted down.

Sometimes at the beginning of spiritual companionship meetings I'll ask people what their "personal weather system" has been lately.  If someone asked me that question I would have to say that it has been stormy times. This storm has taken a lot of my emotional energy and attention.  There have been some things I have been able to do about this, and some things that are beyond my control or not mine to do amidst the storm.

None of us are exempt from periods of cloudiness or storms in our lives.  Simple things can help in those more personally difficult times like praying the Serenity Prayer: "God grant me the courage to change the things I can, the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference." 

Sometimes I'll imagine the people who are experiencing these stormy times with me all in a boat together on a storm-tossed sea, like the story of Jesus and his disciples in the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4:37ff).  We call out to him, asking him to still the storm.  I'll try to get in touch with what's being said between us in the boat, and what Jesus might be trying to tell us.  Then he'll call out, "Peace! Be still."...not just to the stormy situation, but to my own inner turmoil and chaos. 

For me there is also the blessing of having wise, spiritually grounded people who will pray for me, listen to me as I try to make sense of the situation, receive me in the strong feelings that surge within, and hold the trust for me that the storm will pass and safe harbor will be reached in time.  Those are some of the resources that help me in difficult times like what I am going through now.

What helps you in stormy times?


Cindy Alles Ivy said...

Stormy times leave me very unsettled in my gut. I often use the serentity prayer. Right now my stormy times relate to having to run for re-election against a not-so-nice opponent. My goal is to present myself as I am, and accept the outcome of the voters. Feels very much like letting go and letting God. I've missed your postings, Dan.

Daniel said...

I like your attitude in the re-election, Cindy.

Cindy Ivy said...

I kept to the high road and won re-election. Even after the election, I found myself worrying about the 1600 who voted "against" me, rather than the 2000 who voted "for" me. Reminding me again, to let go and let God.

Daniel said...

Congratulations Cindy.