Thanks to our connected world, everyone knows the destruction that Hurricane Irma brought to my state of Florida. The images are heartbreaking but we are a resilient people who will recover.
My family is blessed. We are safe. We did not evacuate, but shuttered in and hunkered down with all the recommended hurricane supplies. The stress for all of was high – preparation lists of provisions to purchase, shutters to put up, outdoor furniture and plants to move inside. Long lines in stores, heavy traffic and impatient people are the norm during and after storms.
But for the Christian, this was our time to shine … to be salt and light. Neighbors helped one another cut trees and install heavy shutters in my area. There are more opportunities to help, plenty of them.
The recovery is just beginning, actually. As I type this, we are one day post storm, our central FL yard is full of leave debris and pool screens blow in the breeze, a few million residents have not yet come back to inspect their homes and the devastated FL Keys is still not allowing residents back to their homes. Parts of Overseas Hwy disintegrated, sand blocks other sections and water has been out since the Sunday storm tore through.
But as I sat in the dark at 5:00 am drinking coffee and talking to God, thanking HIm for all the many ways He protected my family, friends and neighbors – something occurred to me. Hurricanes force people to rely on survival skills. The modern conveniences of electricity, indoor plumbing and water get interrupted. We have to live like pioneers for a while. We complain about the extra work and hassle, but there is beauty there.
Beauty in a simpler way of life. We just have to take time to notice.
The cats were fascinated by a battery operated camping lantern that illuminated the kitchen, their bodies casting eerie shadows on the wall of an adjoining room. It made me smile and conjure ghost stories. Perfect atmosphere for spooky tales.
Families talked because there was no television to divert their attention. Books were read (remember those?). Board games surfaced. We listened to the radio in bed, monitoring the storm after the power died. It was fun singing together. A cherished moment. One of my friends had anxious symptoms due to the lack of internet. I kid you not. As a society, we are seriously addicted to digital media. Being cut off can induce stress, if we allow it to.
Today I am grateful to my heavenly Father who daily loads me with benefits.
Daily. Loads. One version reads … daily carries us along.
Praise the Lord, who carries our burdens day after day, He is the God who saves us (Psalm 68:19 GNT).
I leave you today with a simple thought: why rush back to normal routines?
Are there parts of the simple life we can incorporate into our 21st century routines? How about less screen time and more face to face? I’m giving this serious consideration this week. It definitely will not be indoor plumbing – no outhouse for me! And not my electricity, either. But the phone games, they’re on the short list.
How about you? Any simpler life suggestions?
Love you, stay safe!