Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What to Let Go Of

Growing up in Kansas, tornadoes and tornado season were part of the backdrop of life.  We did tornado drills in school, a fact that blew the minds of my New Jersey friends but was a "duh" for me.  I remember walking outside a couple times and saying, "It feels like tornado weather" -- and my Jersey friends looking at me like I was some backwoods voodoo practitioner.  It feels like tornado weather?!??  Yep.  And I bet my Kansas friends would agree.  You can feel it in the air.  Probably the barometric pressure or something . . .

Not that we ever got complacent about the things; every time a tornado warning came across the TV screen, I'd stop to see where, when, and how strong . . . and wonder if this was the one that would end my life as I knew it. 

Tornadoes are capricious and bizarre.  One twister tore through a friend's neighborhood in Andover one year, and we drove by a few days later to look.  Her house had some damage, but was still liveable.  Her neighbor to one side was untouched; her neighbor to the other side had a pile of rubble with a chimney still standing. 

The weirdest sight in that neighborhood: a standing, whole tree with a pair of jeans sticking out the middle of it.  I mean, half of the jeans sticking out of one side of the tree and half out of the other.  The wind had whipped that pair of jeans around and driven them with such power that they penetrated right through the trunk of the tree.  Bizarre.

Many friends commented yesterday how the images coming out of Oklahoma were reminding them how unimportant their problems were.  Fifteen minute traffic delay on the way to work?  Nothing compared to searching for your child in the rubble of their school building.  Coincidentally (kind of), our speakers at Mother's Night Out last night spoke about "letting it go".  The things that stress us out and what we can and should let go of -- and what we shouldn't.

I'm choosing today to let go of anxiety.  After all, scripture commands us, "Be anxious for NOTHING" -- and it wouldn't issue us a command that is not possible for us to do in the power of Christ. There's so much I could be anxious about right now . . . but I will let go, as commanded.

And I'm choosing today to cling to my family, the only thing I have that is eternal.

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