Many years ago there was a powerful hurricane in the area where I live. That hurricane deposited a large acreage sand pit at the shoreline and it eventually became part of land that was already there.  Years later that large sand pit is a well known part of the area, complete with many homes and businesses. It’s the first piece of land visible as you emerge from the tunnel you drive through when going across the water here.  For us, it’s a landmark.  That piece of land wasn’t there before that powerful hurricane ripped through and created it.  In the path of destruction something new was born.

A hurricane churns everything up.  It brings to the surface what was once buried below.  Oftentimes what was buried needs to come to the surface to allow for new growth and forward movement.  A hurricane stirs up the nutrients on the ocean floor, bringing them to the top to allow for new marine life to happen.  If the hurricane had not of occured those nutrients would have laid dormant on the ocean floor, eventually dying, with the end result being no new marine life.  The truth is that those hurricanes are needed, mass destruction and all.

In life we all go through our own personal hurricanes.  There’s no avoiding them.  If we are to grow and move forward we need those storms to churn everything up. It’s a well known fact to most that when things are going smoothly we don’t want anything to change.  We stay right where we are and hope for the continuity of that smooth sailing because it feels safe and secure.  But, what happens in those calm periods of our lives is that we become complacent.  We simply do not want the calmness to change into anything other than the smooth, easy sailing we’re experiencing.  The danger of complacency is that there is no growth.  And, without growth, we cannot move forward.

The growth I’m referencing is not physical.  I’m talking about psychological growth. We can’t stay in one place emotionally our whole lives and expect things to change or get better.  They won’t.  In order for that change to happen we have to facilitate it ourselves, or……a hurricane needs to happen to do it for us.  When we take the initiative and make changes on our own we feel a little better than when the hurricane comes barreling in to get the job done.  I think the difference in the two is that when we make those changes of our own accord we feel more in control and aren’t blind sighted by things.  We recognize that a change needs to happen and we do it.  The changes that happen from a hurricane are sometimes ones that we didn’t even know needed to be changed.  I think those are the more deep rooted, harder to make changes.  Nonetheless, they need to be made and that hurricane will make sure that they do.

The hurricane will shake you awake to things you didn’t see before…..things you had either turned a blind eye to or had accepted as being “it is what it is and it won’t ever change”.  The raging of the storm forces those things up to the surface to be dealt with.  We are never ready or prepared for a hurricane so we just have to ride it out and hope for the best.  We don’t know what that best is but the hurricane does.  It comes barging into our lives, does what it came to do and leaves.  As with a real hurricane it’s our job to do the clean up.

We can do that clean up one of two ways–the easy way or the hard way.  The easy way is to sweep the mess under the carpet and hope no one looks under it.  We go back to how things were before.  But, in doing that, we leave ourselves at risk of tripping over the mountain of mess under the carpet again and again.  That mountain will continue to cause problems until it’s dealt with.  The hard way is to remove the mess completely.  That usually involves marching right through the mess to get to the root of it.  We need to see what’s in the mess so we know how to dispose of it. This process is much harder than the “sweep it under the carpet” process but it gets much better results…..permanent results.  Those results are change which bring about the growth and forward movement we all need.

If there is to be new life there needs to be storms.  There is no way to avoid them. There will always be storms for us to weather, be they small ones or massively large ones.  The trick to surviving them is to face them head on with strength and determination.  Don’t drown in the storm.  Strap on your life jacket and steer your boat right through it.  There’s much better things to be had on the other side of that storm……new things you never thought possible.