My husband loves to watch lightning. When he was a Boy Scout at Philmont in New Mexico one of his favorite things to do was sit at the edge of a mesa as a thunderstorm rolled in and watch the lightning strike. This proved challenging after we got married because my idea of a smart thing to do during a thunderstorm was wrap myself in a blanket and sit on a couch with my feet up. My grandmother had convinced me that this was the safest way to ride out a thunderstorm. Through my growing up years my dad tried to convince me that riding in a car was actually the safest place to be, apparently something about the rubber tires and electricity. It made absolutely no sense to me. If I could see the lightning and feel the wind it was definitely more dangerous.
Eventually we had children and I had to figure out how to put on a brave front so as not to scar them for life. Here’s what I learned. In order to calm yourself during a storm it is helpful to:
- Sing songs very loudly this not only distracts you from the noise of the storm it causes you to think about the words you are singing.
- Dance like a crazy person this may have started in an effort to keep my feet off the floor to avoid lightning strikes but it became a high energy, joyful experience with others riding out the storm.
- Be with people you love it’s amazing how being with people who care about you, and who are willing to be slightly silly, brings peace and comfort.
Of course as the years went by, I learned that the real storms of life can be much scarier and bring more anxiety than any thunderstorm. The interesting thing is for me, the same lessons apply. I find myself singing very loudly but mostly they are songs of faith. I try to dance with abandon as I juggle the lightning strikes and thunder claps of earthly challenges but I do it with people I love and who love me. And I do it all while holding on dearly to the God I love and who long ago calmed the waters of Galilee for people he loved.