The Revelations in a Power Outage

There is a predictability in our lives that is as apparent as a parking lot’s freshly-painted lines. I comb my hair a certain way with a specific brush and always with my right hand. I sit on the same stool at Starbucks to the point that I’m thinking I should pay rent. And, although it means the discovery of meaningless mail, I feel that life is out of balance if I’m not the one who retrieves the day’s deliveries in our mailbox.

When that predictability, that routine, gets suddenly shifted life seems to resemble a Picasso painting, out-of-order and chaotic. For example, this morning we had a power outage at about 5:45. The fact that both Carol and I were out of bed already at that time is about as common as buttermilk being chugged in our house. This morning, however, we’re still dealing with screwed-up sleep schedules as a result of a different routine interruption– flying back from Kauai at night and losing our usual sleep. The power outage prompted a series of mental questions: How long will it be for? Is the food in the refrigerator okay? How many clocks will we need to reset? Can we survive without the TV being on? (Carol’s question!) Can we get the cars out of the garage?

The power outage came just one day after the main spring on our garage door had snapped, necessitating a $250 emergency response from the garage door company. Their regular service calls were booked out until after July 4.

Sandwiched the timing of those two unplanned events was an outpatient surgery getting scheduled to take care of an inconvenient pain I’m dealing with, and the revelation received in our mailbox from the Colorado Department of Treasury that there had been an adjustment made to our 2017…let me write that again…2017 tax return with a new amount that they suddenly think we owe them.

What all of these situations reveal to me is how dependent our lives are on what we predictably can plan for. The pandemic hit many of us like a winter bomb cyclone, churning up what we had come to expect with what we never expected. Many of us panicked! Remember the runs on toilet paper! How about the plummeting of gas prices because no one was going anyplace? (So much for that money saver!) Predictability is the glue that holds our lives together, but when the glue loses it’s stickiness most of us are at a loss and lost.

The beginning words of Psalm 46 remind me of what I can depend on and Who I can depend on when life around me becomes uncertain.

“God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.”

We may have a power outage at an inconvenient time, but I know and trust in the One Who is the certainty, the steadiness, the anchor in the midst of the storm.

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