A vicious storm ripped through our neighborhood earlier this week. It blew roof tiles off the house, ripped apart an umbrella that was closed, and turned tables and chairs over in the backyard.
As if that weren’t enough, it tore down shrubs and trees, blew water under the front door and crowned it’s show of strength with a lightning strike to the neighbors tree directly across the street.
Our neighbors had the half of the tree that got blown off by the lightning cut up and hauled off the same day as the storm. I was impressed. I was less impressed with my timeliness responding to the clean up effort.
It’s been a busy week. I have plenty of excuses. They all sound pretty good, but I’m having a hard time convincing myself that any of them have merit.
It dawned on me as I looked at the mess day after day this week while putting off the inevitable, that this was a good example not only of our physical world, but also our spiritual one as well.
How many times in life does a storm pass through and leave a disaster in our hearts and lives?
Most of the time in life I’ll have the same response spiritually as I have this week physically. I’ll live with the mess in my spiritual life. I’ll step over debris, or kick it out of the way. Just enough so that I can still function without tripping over the mess.
To start the clean up process in either scenario, whether within or without takes one very important ingredient… Action.
I’ve also found in life that in either case procrastination usually makes things worse, and the clean up process more difficult.
I finally got around to cleaning up the backyard yesterday. It didn’t take too long, but soon after I started the regret of procrastination was again a reality. If I had cleaned up the same day of the storm like my neighbors did, I wouldn’t be burning my hands on hot metal furniture.
The shredded umbrella canvas wrapped around the bottom of its stand had become the new home of a few ants and spiders. It had also become a new target for our dog Larry to mark as “his territory”.
“Sure wish I’d cleaned this up sooner,” I said to myself out loud. I knew Larry was listening and I was hoping he felt bad. He probably did, but he just can’t help himself. I’m glad he couldn’t answer, the last thing I wanted to hear from him was, “You should have cleaned it up sooner.”
I hope I learn a lesson from this incident, I need to be a man of action in my physical life, but more importantly in my spiritual life.
In fact, I think I’ll start getting ready for the next storm in life today. I’ll batten down the hatches and secure all things inside and out.
I’ll seek God through His Word in study and in prayer.
This won’t stop the next storm, the storms in life are inevitable, but being prepared spiritually assures the weathering of them.
When the next storm blows through leaving some spiritual damage, I think I’ll try to get my spiritual house in order that same day.
Putting off the clean up process only makes matters worse.
Maybe I should get some gloves too…