Driving home from Upstate New York on Sunday in the middle of Hurricane Irene, I felt like I should have been in one of those car commercials. You know, the ones where they show you how awesome the vehicle is by driving it through rivers, over boulders, hauling the Titanic, and then launching it into space to fix the International Space Station. Then at the end someone sings “like a rock, ohhhh like a rock!” and that’s supposed to make you buy their product.
Blatant materialism aside, my little Spencer performed like a champ and nobody is allowed to criticize him ever again. I spent most of the trip gripping the steering wheel and contemplating rocks in all forms, including rock ballads and rock slides. I found myself meditating on the parable of the wise man who built on rock and whose house withstood a hurricane; the foolish man had built on sand and his house was washed away.
My flatmate and I were recently discussing fear. Fear of getting robbed, mugged, carjacked, etc. This is something we all consider occasionally, whenever we see it another violent crime against an innocent victim reported on the front page. It’s not a question of whether we will have storms in life, only of when. The real question is how then do we live.
One particularly common sentiment seems to be that all you have to do is get married. Everyone seems to expect that a spouse will fix everything that is wrong in their life—everything from their car to their parents’ marriage. My heart breaks for this mindset. A wedding is not the happy ending, complete with riding off into the sunset and happily ever after. It is only a (hopefully) happy beginning. I worry that my friends will discover this the hard way.
No mere human can control every aspect of life. There has yet to be a single person in my life who has not let me down at one point or another. Relationships fail. Jobs are lost. Looks fade. People die. When life shakes you to the core, you’d better hope your foundation is sturdy enough to handle it. Trouble happens, but you can’t let the fear of it rule your life.
There are always several responsive options: you can fight, you can run away, you can ignore it and hope it goes away…. That decision defines you. It will impact the rest of your life in ways you can’t even fathom. Yes, you should be able to rely on your husband, wife, father, mother, etc. But “should” and “could” are two very different things. When you suddenly can’t depend on anyone or anything else, the Rock on which you should have built your life is going to matter even more.
The conclusion of the aforementioned conversation on fear was that we could never leave the house, but that would be no way to live. Sure, we could hide under the covers, yet we choose to go out and confront life head-on! Every day, we each must boldly go where no one has gone before! Even if that means sometimes having to drive through a hurricane.