Isn’t it amazing how we have come accustom to believing what we hear on television, in particular what we hear on the news? Yesterday we heard, “thunder storms, some possibly over 1 inch.” When we woke up the weather was dreary, but it was not too bad. About 9:00 AM, I went to church for a prayer group which lasted about two hours, then I went to lunch with a friend. It was wet and the rain was heavy but nothing unusual for a summer afternoon in Florida.
When I left the restaurant and started to head home, which is about ten miles to the west and clear across town, the roads were flooded. Now when I say flooded I mean, cars floating, cruise ships floating by, flooded. I watched the news before I left the house and I did not hear that short chubby weather guy say a thing about flooding or even possible flooding. I trusted that when he said typical summer thunderstorm and possible lightning that would be what I would see on my morning sashay across town.
My normal route was completely impassable. I drive a truck and I thought I could make it through some of the areas that the small cars were drifting in until I saw a truck taller than mine floating. I had to find a new way home. My habitual way would not work. It was difficult and I was not so sure that I would make it. After some very careful navigation on my part I made the 30 min trip home in over an hour. I was so relieved to see that my house was not one of those that were under water like the houses I had seen as I was swimming home. I turned on the television and the same weather guy was saying things like “unexpected”, “unforseen”, and “it just snuck up on us”. We ended up breaking records with 15 inches of rainfall in 24 hours and the emergency response center issued a state of emergency.
As I kept watching the video and pictures sent in by viewers, I saw amazing things. Familiar places unrecognizable and buried under tons of water, but I saw something else. People were helping their neighbors and strangers. Folks drying off other people and dogs. Kids in swimming suits playing in the lakes, middle age people on air floats enjoying the lazy street rivers, and senior citizens in lawn chairs enjoying their new water front property.Neighbors helping each other and having fun doing it. Happiness in the chaos.
Unexpected chaos happens in our lives all the time. We are cruising right along in life and then life throws as a curve ball, or an unforseen rain storm. The trick is that when we have those sort of crazy things interrupt our normal lives, we find happiness in the chaos. We find some thing to hold on to, one hope. We have to look for that one thing that we can say, “Ok, God has this and I am going to be OK.” We have to help each other and find a new way to navigate the unexpected. The rain of life will come and it will flood where we were expecting to go, but we need to trust God and work our way through it finding happiness along the way.