the boys and i drove down to bay city yesterday for a few days with cousins and grandparents (christy is going on a junior high mission trip this afternoon for the weekend). we had a couple of possible bumps in the road to keep us from coming: linus had a cold and hardly slept at all tuesday night; and oh yeah, hurricane dolly, barreling down on brownsville, 300 miles away. the weather channel reported 100% chance of thunderstorms and squalls, beginning wednesday evening, continuing all the day thursday.
so we took off. baby felt better, star wars was rolling on the dvd, and i had my book on cd: the world is flat. after four hours of sunshine, we rolled in to houston, and the clouds turned dark gray. on the north side of town, everything opened up, directly over our van! thankfully the other drivers were aware of the possibility of big rain, so they were ready. we slowed down, and after a couple of hairy minutes it passed. this has been the total impact of dolly, at least in this part of texas. my dream of filing a report from bay city similar to this one blew over.
my feelings as i drove down from dallas were a combination of fear and excitement, which turned to disappointment by the time we were home. no dangers to overcome. no triumph of human ingenuity or adversity in the midst of the hostile creation. in the middle of a great storm like dolly, the gospels tell us the disciples panicked. "don't you care that we are dying?" they screamed at a slumbering Jesus in the boat. he woke up, calmed the winds and waves with a few words, and the disciples said, "who is this? even the winds obey him!" Jesus' response: "where is your faith?"
maybe i was secretly hoping dolly would be my test of faith-- an opportunity to face my fears and either panic or be hopeful. a way to measure my commitment. but do we really need dollys for that? isn't everyday life full of enough challenges and hurdles to know if our faith is really reliable or not? we certainly have enough to worry about-- there is no shortage of storms of life we must deal with. and everyone one, regardless of whether they are category 1 or 5, can reveal much of who we are and what we believe. may God always give us the strength and the resolve we need to face those storms with faith and not fear. and may God bless those who were not as fortunate as we were to avoid dolly's wrath.