EmPulse for Week of December 13, 2010
Ice storms in New England are infamous! The snow storms are great, soft white, blanketing the countryside with peace & gentle tranquility. Albeit, in recent years, not deep enough for this writer. But the ice storms…, well. What’s the Simon & Garfunkel lyric? Slip-slidin’ away, slip-slidin’ away. It seems the nearer you’re destination the more you’re slip-slidin’ away. Ah the joys of four wheel drive! And even then… .
Unless you are a competent, experienced driver, ice storms pose a veritable threat to anyone on the road. Inexperienced drivers pose even more of a threat. Too frequently they assume driving on ice is only marginally different than driving in rain. Thus the predictable “first accident.” I recall one such ice storm found me returning home from Boston at night. The car to my right started skidding into my lane. I hit the brakes and immediately put my car into a 360 . I hit a snow embankment at about 40 mph, launching me, still spinning, into the air. Somehow I landed between two trees, suspended above a ditch, motor still running. “Interesting.” I thought. The reality that I might just have been killed never occurred to me. That dawned later; as did the realization that God had kept me alive for some weird, mysterious purpose.
Spinning around in the air in an ice storm will do a number of things to one’s psyche. So will the loss of a parent, or a child. Being unemployed for a long period of time will make you doubt your abilities, your worth, whether you have a purpose in life at all. Being fired from a job, be it your first employment as a teenager or as a long-standing COO or manager of a major corporation, can be devastating, and costly.
Establishing your foundational core on your vocation and employment can be as dangerous as New England ice storm; slippery, unmanageable, with little time to react when things go out of control. It is better to frame your foundational core in something other than what you do for a living. Not things like human relationships—they too can be like an ice storm, and just as unpredictable; or stress-relieving techniques, that bring a mechanical, albeit genuine, yea, temporal, re-centering of your core. You know that will come back around on you again! Something more foundational, more primal.
Might I cautiously put before you that seeking a new depth with the God who made you just could be the most foundational foundation you’ll ever find. Notwithstanding the sins of the church and many of those who allege to be “Christian,” I have found my foundation in my friend, Jesus Christ. Where are you looking?
Fortifying and refining your core foundation will go a long way to help you stay the line and stay on course when the ice storms hit. Slip-slidin’ away.