The watching and waiting, and watching and waiting for Hurricane Dorian to move, to do something – anything, reminded me once again I am NOT in control of very much.
I have publicly admitted (more than once) that I am an information junkie. I like receiving and consuming lots of information and data. I thrive when I can access a stream of facts and figures flowing freely and abundantly.
This was not the situation I found myself in when trying, like all of you, to deal with what Dorian was going to be, or what it might mean for my location, family and friends. I quickly became first frustrated and then impatient with what seemed to be an early, even premature call to full-scale alert.
Being inland, in Jasper County, meant that the risks were very different for me than those who can step outside their doors on to the beach of an ocean. Yet, the storm certainly seemed capable of impacting me – if it were to decide to move in just the right way at the right time.
And of course, I was on the hunt for just that kind of information.
The result was an increasing impatience and restlessness as Dorian took its time destroying the Bahamas. Would it come to us? Would it fizzle out? When? Where? Would we have time to leave once a more specific trajectory was predicted?
No doubt you faced the same questions.
Somewhere in all this, in between observing press conferences, news reports, and far too many visits to the National Hurricane Center website, I was reminded of a song by Scott Krippayne entitled “Sometimes He Calms the Storm.”
His song gives voice to the faith that many of us hold – that while we are not in control, we know that God is. Krippayne goes on to declare that God can whisper “peace be still” and can settle any sea. But it doesn’t mean God will.
Sometimes, continues the song, God simply “holds us close and lets the wind and waves go wild.” Sometimes God does calm the storm; other times God calms God’s child.
This storm has affirmed this truth and reminded me that nothing can separate me (and you) from the love and grace of God. More storms are ahead. Maybe even more hurricanes.
Certainly, more internal storms that will test my spirit and resolve, and will try and shake my faith. But I only need to remember that a “heart of trust will always be a quiet, peaceful place.”
May it be true for us all.
Pete Berntson is the pastor of Church of the Palms United Methodist Church in Okatie.