I think there’s something to be said for faith in whatever you call on when the tornado sirens go off.
There are a lot of times in my life when I trust in myself before I trust in God. Job successes or failures, friendships, even church events and activities. I feel capable of doing those things, so in effect I trust myself and occasionally throw up a prayer to cover the gaps where I might not quite be sufficient.
But since ancient times, humanity has turned to God when the thunder rolls.
Last week we had a tornado watch here in Nashville. After a year away from these nasty storms, I felt more nervous and less prepared than I usually do. It turned out not to hit anywhere near here, but I realized as I checked and re-checked the weather that I was calling on God in the sight of this storm more than I had in months. When I am finally dragged, kicking and screaming, into situations that are entirely outside my control, God is the one I have always and will always turn to.
I don’t think your whole relationship with God should be limited to moments of panic and helplessness, any more than your relationship with your cell phone should be limited to moments when you need to call 911. The cell phone is particularly adept at that 911 thing, but it’s also something you keep in your pocket all day long (and let’s be real, probably pull out about every 15 minutes to check).
In fact, if I only used my cell phone to call 911 (which I have never had to do), I imagine I wouldn’t know how to use it properly when I did finally need it for it’s small purpose. I might not even have it with me, if that’s all I used it for.
Obviously this is an imperfect metaphor, but as I prayed and drove through the storms last week, I considered the ways in which prayer becomes more automatic and easy as it is practiced, and less so as it is forgotten.
Will I still call on God when it thunders and roars? I do not think I could stop. Is he capable of controlling and directing the storms? Yes and amen.
Is his primary purpose damage control and emergency response? I have to believe it is so much more than that.
Photo by Pat Dalton, via Flickr.