I was on a personal retreat last week (where I worked on the puzzle from the last newsletter) and enjoyed the solitude. A passage from the book of James came to mind (above) that describes how we can so easily be blown sideways by circumstantial winds. This week, in fact, it seemed like I had the Midas touch in reverse; everything I touched broke! From the lantern above the garage to our new refrigerator to the sunroof on my car, everything was breaking. (And yes, these are definitely "first world problems"!) It all took me into a deep blue funk yesterday, and this morning found me scrambling to dig out.
Thinking back to James' words and feeling exceptionally "blown and tossed," I also remembered those powerful waves at the beach...and had an aha moment. To be sure, the wind was whipping the edges off those waves and blowing them sideways--but it didn't stop the mass of the waves from barreling forward, undeterred toward the shore. The amount of the wave blown off-course? Less than 1%. And so it is with our lives. This is who we truly are. Undeterred.
Our lives as "waves" are sourced by a deeper power than the wind of circumstance; we are driven and directed by nothing less than an eternal gravitational Force. And our mission is to impact the beachscape of our world, day after day, one conversation and activity at a time. The force of our lives breaks upon innumerable grains of sand around us, creating change that is imperceptible in the moment but dramatic over the layers of days and years. And nothing can stop it.
Will we feel the emotional whippage of disappointment and setback? To be sure. It's part of our humanity and an unpredictable world. But the choice we face is whether to identify ourselves with the 1% that gets pulled off course...or the 99% that continues forward undeterred, persisting in our ongoing mission to influence and shape our culture to thrive.
I sat on a 3-foot embankment along the beach, a convenient shelf where the waves had undercut a series of small "cliffs" and given me a spot to perch and stare out at the churning waves. The blustery rain storms of several days had whipped the surf into a frenzy, and I watched in awe as they surged and crashed with deafening roars, three and four layers deep at a time!