strange days

last sunday morning was a busy day. we changed service times and added new bible studies. the service itself was going well-- we began the communion liturgy, brought the kids back in from children's church, and then sirens and flashing lights went off all over the church. i thought someone must have pulled an alarm. after a few seconds of wondering, i announced to the church that we would leave the sanctuary and finish communion on the lawn. had there been a fire we would have been consumed-- we were that slow. turns out we think opposite doors at either end of the hallway opened at the same time, releasing a day of pentecost-like wind through the church. that infusion of air somehow triggered the alarms.

i have tried to make an effort to exercise more-- ok, i'll be honest-- to exercise at all, so i go walking in the morning behind james' school. i was much better last fall, but the cold winter has sort of shut me down. i walked one morning two weeks ago and again last week and later on both days i became very tired and was sick the day after each walking day. am i allergic to exercise? no, it turns out i have battled bronchitis for a couple of weeks, and i guess the exercise combined with lessened breathing capacity wiped me out. i saw the doctor last week and i feel better now. in fact i walked this morning-- will i be out of commission tomorrow?

last sunday i was finally able to get to our church softball practice. i am admittedly the worst softball player on the planet, but i signed up anyway for the fun of it. when it came time to practice hitting i reluctantly stepped to the plate, self-conscious about my lack of skill. after several fouls and grounders, troy mentioned my back foot was not planted. i made the adjustment and began to hit sharply. in fact on my last pitch i hit a home run! first ever! probably last! you think barry bonds feels threatened?

then there is the weather. it rained sunday evening and all day yesterday. sunday was a warm day. yesterday was bitterly cold. in fact, last night it snowed. in march. weather reports from last weekend spoke of the possibility which i immediately dismissed. then by chance i walked past the window and noticed whiteness everywhere. christy was so excited she ran to james' room to try to walk him up. he would not budge. this morning the schools delayed starting until 10:00, so james and miles had extra time to play outside. i'll post pictures soon.

add to all this craziness the early time change this weekend, plus easter is coming in a few weeks. things have been very unpredictable recently in my life-- does that ever happen to you? when you feel sort of lost in strange days like these, what do you do? one thing that will add a huge amount of stability is the coming of shannon roth to our church staff as administrative assistant. every week i was doing the bulletin, emails, website, plus a monthly newsletter. combined with my regular responsibilities and my work at wesley, i did not have time to think-- hence my prolonged mental vacation from blogging. now that the world has slowed its turning just a little, i feel relieved.

in the midst of all of this strangeness, it is comforting to know that God is changeless and constant. i am reminded of the disciples on the sea, lost and confused in a violent storm. in a panic, they called out to Jesus, asleep in the boat: "don't you care that we're dying here??" he awoke, calmed the storms, and questioned their lack of faith. what will Jesus say to each of us when we are overwhelmed by life? and will we be too busy, too lost, too confused and disoriented to hear?