Sunday, April 15, 2012

Stormy Sunday

This morning, as I got up to go to job #4 in Niles, my husband told me that there were really bad storms coming out of Chicago, and that there had been tornadoes in Oklahoma. For some reason, I always think weather-related issues can't touch me if I don't yet see them. I promised him I'd be careful, then got into my car and started the 45 minute drive.

Approximately halfway through the drive, the light sprinkling raindrops that had accompanied me for the first part of the trip turned on me. Their friendliness instantaneously shut off, and I was betrayed. Almost suddenly, a driving beat of thick drops of rain outran my windshield wipers on their quickest setting. I stopped driving 70MPH and slowed down. And down. AND DOWN. Eventually, I was driving 35MPH with my hazard lights on, and I was finally nervous. A semi passed me and splashed the standing water up onto my windshield. I couldn't see a thing. I promised God that I'd tuck my tail between my legs and get off the next exit if He'd just keep me safe (and yes, I am fully aware that bargaining with God doesn't work.) When I pulled off the next exit, the rain almost as suddenly stopped its vendetta against me and my little red Saturn. It went into a low drizzle, then a spattering of droplets. I pondered getting back on the bypass, but decided this was safer -- if I needed to pull over again, I could, without worrying that some other crazy driver behind me going 70MPH would run into me on the highway.

The rest of the drive to Niles was completely peaceful, and it's been somewhat dreary outside, but there have been no storms.

Sometimes I wonder if I don't experience things to shock me into humility from time to time. I know I have no control over the weather, but sometimes I REALLY need to know that. One thing I do have control over is my outlook, and more often than not, it's negative.

The previous post about nullifying negativity is a lesson I have had to relearn a hundred times, and probably will continue to relearn on a regular basis for the rest of my life. I have a tendency to see the worst in a situation before I can see anything good in it at all. The only thing I thought about the storms were that, if they did occur, they were going to really get in my way of making good time on my trip, and that would be bad on my gas mileage, and throw off my plan for the morning.

After putting my will aside to get to Niles as quickly as possible, I began to see the beauty of the situation. I put aside my own agenda, drove the route that was going to take a LOT longer, and looked at the sunshine peeking out from behind the clouds, the sparkling drops of water atop the fresh blossoms on trees and flowers alongside the road -- my morning had not been delayed too much, but my spirituality increased greatly. All from a little rain.

Okay, a LOT of rain.

On another note, I went with my mom to visit her Uncle Steve. He has not been doing well for quite awhile, but things have taken a turn for the worse. At 93 years old, he is one of the few links I have left to my own grandfather who passed away when I was 15, though it feels like just yesterday. My grandfather, Paul, was a tough, hard-working Hungarian man born on the boat on the way over from Hungary in 1912. His brother, Steve, equally as hard-working, looks so much like him it's uncanny. As I saw him in the bed today, sleeping, it brought me back to the place I was when I was 15. I know he doesn't have much time left, and I pray simply for God to take him peacefully so he can be with his brothers, sisters, and his wife. There is a thin veil between this world and the next sometimes, I think. He's been calling out to his brother "Paulie", the last couple of days. It just reminds me, one more time, that anything is possible -- God has great things planned for us that won't necessarily happen in THIS lifetime. It's the next one where we rest, where we rejoice, where we are finally home.

Remind me of that next time I tell you how exhausted I am and how horrible of a week I've had.

Stephanie Jean

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