This is the season of storms–but in the church office, a storm can brew at any time. Here’s one of mine from Incidents and Inspiration, Book I
He made the storm stop and the sea be quiet. Psalm 107:29
I grew up on a farm in Iowa. During tornado season, Mom watched the southwest skies for dark clouds churning up a storm. “I don’t like the looks of those clouds,” she’d announce and she’d march my brothers and me down to the damp cellar to wait out the storm. I’d hover on the step above the dirt floor, with my arms wrapped tightly around my knees, and listen to branches of the elm tree slap against the tin roof of the coal shed outside the cellar door. Mother, holding the kerosene lantern, watched for a streak of sunlight to appear under the cellar door and would declare, “Storm’s over!” I’d bolt out of the cellar like a chicken fleeing the coop. The cellar was far scarier than any storm.
I’ve created a few internal storms during my workdays. One time I was in such a hurry to get to an appointment, I ran 500 copies upside down on the backside of a bulletin. I mentally kicked myself around the office the rest of the day for wasting paper, copier ink, and my time.
The all-time worst punishment I inflicted on myself happened when I failed to review the lease agreement on a copy machine before the lease expired. I missed the 90-day notice needed to opt-out of the lease and no matter how much I argued with the leaseholder, the office was stuck with another year of payments on the worthless machine. That storm seemed like a weeklong low-pressure system stalled out in my head.
Unlike Mom who took me to the cellar to wait out a storm, God guides me through stormy days with an extra dose of grace and an understanding, forgiving boss who says, “Linda, stop beating yourself up! Everyone makes mistakes.”
Dear Lord, help me remember that human error and self-worth are not related to one another,