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When Storm Arise

It was one of those days when the telephone would not stop ringing, everything that could possibly go wrong seemed to, and nothing at all seemed to turn out right. I had such a long list of things that had to be done, that I found myself getting distracted and flitting from one to the other, without finishing anything, and I began to worry that I was going to forget something important, or fail to finish my project before its deadline. 

I was literally on the verge of panic and dark despair, when the thought popped into my head, "Go to the beach." Without a second thought, I got up from my desk, which looked as though a tornado had hit it, put on a warm jacket, went out to the car, and headed towards Nauset beach, which is about a seven-minute drive from my house. 

This day was as lovely a day as I can recall in the 31 years that I have lived on Cape Cod. There was not a cloud to be seen in the bright blue sky, and the cool crispness of the breeze blowing in from the sea cleared my cluttered mind and refreshed my soul. I sat down in the sand, and looked up and down the beach, where except for a few couples walking along the water's edge and a young lad running with his dog, there was no living thing to be seen in either direction. Then my eyes looked out to the horizon, and there was nothing in between it and me except for the incoming waves breaking on the shore, and an occasional seagull or a tern. It felt good to be alone, and away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. 

As I watched the waves, it occurred to me that waves are a pattern of human life. We all have our ups and downs, our peaceful times and our stormy times, our times of joy, and our times of sadness. Even our heartbeat and our blood pressure, which sustain our life and without which we cannot live, are measured in waves. 

And then it occurred to me that we can learn a lot from the birds in the air, and from the fish in the ocean. Birds fly above the storms that rage on the surface of the sea. They let the force of the wind lift them up, high above the turmoil below. Fish swim below the rise and fall of the waves, where the water is still, and peaceful, and quiet. When the sea of life becomes stormy, threatening to overwhelm us and making us afraid, let us remember who made the sea and has authority over it, for is it not he who dwells in us, and promised to lift us up; and will not he who causes the birds to fly, also cause us to soar, as the eagle, above the storm? 

And will he not enable us at such times, like the fishes, to go deeper, beneath surface things that appear so frightening and formidable, to depths of unseen truth, and power, and peace, where no storm can invade? 

Back in my office, my desk was, of course, still as it had been, but I was with the birds and the fishes. 

"And he said to them, 'Why are you fearful, O you man of little faith?' Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm." --Matthew 8:26

 

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