Well­ness: Spir­i­tu­al­ity - Surf Sci­ence: Storm of Un­cer­tainty

Howler Magazine - - Contents -

The phone rings, the pause gives it away, the prog­no­sis … known. Within your mind, a flood of thoughts swell up. Fear starts to build as the un­known haunts you. Nu­mer­ous ques­tions come to that coun­cil room in your head, de­mand­ing an­swers, seek­ing re­lief. So much of your time and en­ergy is ex­tin­guished as you build bridges over all the “what if,” “what about” and “why” ques­tions you don't dare try to an­swer.

Sleep es­capes you in the grips of fear, while you search for peace and res­o­lu­tion. The words of fam­ily and friends are so well in­tended, yet seem to only sup­press the agony of the un­known for a brief mo­ment. If there is the re­al­ity of this — this cir­cum­stance, this sick­ness, this sit­u­a­tion of anx­i­ety and stress — then could there be ... is there the re­al­ity of peace, rest and calm while in this storm?

A few years ago, my son was ly­ing there on a gur­ney in pre-op, pre­pared for aor­tic re­place­ment surgery that would take eight hours. As I kissed his fore­head, the talk, the words and the prayers were done. But the “test” was still to come. Do I carry this over into worry and anx­i­ety? Will my mind race to all the per­cent­ages and is­sues that the doc­tor spoke about? My son will be un­der the knife while Dad is left in this room. Will time stand still?

As I left the pre-op, I turned around at the door and looked back with tears in my eyes. I lifted up my hands, a ges­ture made on the day he was born, and I said, “Into Your hands, I trust.”

I wasn't speak­ing to a rit­ual, or a dead re­li­gion based on guilt, con­dem­na­tion and con­trol. I was speak­ing to the Creator, the Au­thor, the great Physi­cian. Nor was I just throw­ing some pos­i­tive words out into the air. I had left the sit­u­a­tion with Him. I had given up in sur­ren­der that He is … and I'm not. I knew there was no level of “worry” that I had to bring to the ta­ble to hope­fully make it good enough.

A pic­ture was taken of me in the pri­vate wait­ing room dur­ing my son's or­deal. I'm asleep. Can you man­u­fac­ture peace? For those who dwell in the “me” phi­los­o­phy of them­selves, where can they place their trust dur­ing the storms of life?

There is a story of some guys out on a boat. A ter­ri­ble storm had arisen, with the wind and waves crash­ing on top of them. But asleep in the boat was the guy whose idea it was to go out in the first place. It was Je­sus, who had said, “Let us go to the other side of the lake.” The other ter­ri­fied men on board awak­ened him with fear and a wor­ri­some ques­tion. He calmed the storm and then asked why they were so afraid. It wasn't their hu­man ten­dency to fear, but rather they re­fused to see Him for who He was — His pres­ence, His prom­ise, His power and purpose.

So how to “leave it?” When you've come to the point of ex­haus­tion with worry, and are try­ing to man­age the chaos by at­tempt­ing to be stronger, “mind over mat­ter” doesn't work. But it's only at this point that you will fi­nally be able to “let it go.” In self-de­feat, we can ac­knowl­edge the God who is — not with lip ser­vice but with ab­so­lute re­lease — to ex­pe­ri­ence peace in the storm. I won­der how long we will go through the storm be­fore com­ing to the “end of our­self,” then go awaken the One who cares?

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