The power to my residence/home went out Wednesday morning, just as guest of mine were leaving to go back to Nashville. I was in the middle of a shower, when the lights flickered and then "off" they went. It's amazing how I have lived in this home for the past 4 years, but don't know where anything is, in the dark!
Why is it, that the batteries in the four flashlights that I have around the house, all are either weak on battery juice, or completely dead?
Why is it, that I know how to turn on the Gas Fireplace with the ELECTRONIC SELF LIGHTER, however, to turn it on manually, it took 4 hours and calling of a friend, who also needed an hour or so?
Why is it, that regardless of when the power goes out, that I constantly play with the light switches, thinking that this is going to magically bring power to the connection?
Why is it, that after four years of having an electric garage door opener, that just now I have discovered that there is no HANDLE on the outside of my garage door to lift it up, should the power ever go out?
Why is it, that it is always seems much darker at night in my house, when there is no electricity?
These last few days, have really challenged me to get down, once again, to the basics! Even though I am cold and by myself, there is always something that can be learned of a situation that brings an uncomfortableness to our lives. What a great opportunity to just lay down and be still! To realize, how much time is spent on useless activities of responding immediately to emails that can wait or searching the web and how less time in my life, was spent on meditation, reading and/or most importantly, praying.
This power outage, of which still continues for me and many of my parishioners, has challenged me to realize, how important it is for me to realize that, ultimately, thought it may seem we are alone, we are never alone. Day after day, hour after hours, many people across our world, go without food, electricity nor the concern of "another" daily.
As a Pastor, I realized, that I could not get in touch with my flock due to down powerlines, phone lines and cable. I realized how isolated I was from checking in on them and/or anyone checking in on me. It was at that point, that I realized the importance of wanting to BE together -- Needing their presence in my life.
If anything, this time alone, has challenged me to learn, that our Parish Family needs to develope some sort of CONTIGENCY PLAN, should something like this happens again -- How can we take care, not only of our own, but those within our city, who are struggling and in desperate times? Tonight, I will address this with the Parish Council.
Bob Hope once said: "If you haven't any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble."
I will let you know when the LIGHTS come back on and the HEAT is restored, but until then, I have come to realize, in the words of Charles Dickens: "No one is useless in teh world who lightens the burden of it for someone else."