Author: The Rev. Dr. David Bridges, Priest
August 12, 2020

Marla and I were out in the boat last weekend and I always enjoy looking back and watching the turbulence behind the boat. I don’t know what it is that appeals to me about it. Last weekend as I looked at the prop turbulence, I noticed how the water remains stirred-up for a few moments after the boat passes, then settles-down again.

I thought about how beneficial it may be for the water to be stirred-up like that. Maybe it is just my imagination, but I think the turbulence helps keep the surface cleaner and distributes the warmer water from the top.

Life is much like that. None of us enjoy the turbulent times in life. We fret and worry about the things that stir-up our lives. We want everything to be calm and organized. We want everything to make sense. We will often take the long way around a situation rather than face the turbulence of an issue.

While no one enjoys rough water, we know it will come. One thing certain in life is that life is uncertain. So, what good can come from turbulence in our society and personal lives? Perhaps we are less creative when our lives are calm.
History indicates that most of our advancement is a result of difficulty or turbulence. For example, gathering loose hay from the field worked fine for several hundred or thousand years, but bailing machines made the work faster and more productive.

Perhaps we need turbulence to knock us off of high-center; we need something to get us going. We are in the midst of turbulent times. I have heard people talk about the “fear” they feel every day in this time of pandemic. I see civil disturbances and riots on the daily news. I hear and read about millions of potential evictions and foreclosures.
These are all very disturbing issues, and that’s not mentioning homelessness, hunger, disease, war, and a multitude of other issues we are facing. These disturbing times can be a pathway to renewal. This can be a time of growth. How so?
When I feel overwhelmed I start to look toward the bigger picture; the end result. This pandemic will end. Civil unrest will settle-down, if we resolve the critical issues. The end result, if we handle these situations correctly, could be a stronger, healthier, happier Nation and world.

How can we handle all of this properly? Here is advice from St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians: “… you were called to freedom; but be careful, or this freedom will provide an opening for self-indulgence. Rather, serve one another in works of love, since the whole of the Law is summarized in a single command: ‘ … love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you go on snapping at one another and tearing each other to pieces, be careful, or you may end up destroying the whole community.” (Galatians 5:13-15, TIB)

Blessings and Peace to You All,
Fr. David+


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