Last night was probably one of the weirdest experiences of my 5 year career at Main Street. In the summer we have what is called the Summer Series (most congregations do). There was a storm going on but we did not think much about it because everything seemed to be going well. About 15 minutes into the lesson we heard the tornado sirens. The speaker paused and said, “Do we need to go some where or do something?” Everyone looked at me as if I needed to say something but I thought there was no need to panic and encouraged the speaker to keep speaking. I knew that there would be men in the congregation who would get up and check it anyways so I thought we need to keep doing the same thing until we knew exactly what was occurring. For some reason I like to look at people when things are going wrong. I know it is weird and may seem demented but I believe a person’s real character comes out when something goes completely wrong. I looked at people and they were fidgeting in their seats and they kept checking their cell phones to look at the radar and some of them got up and went downstairs immediately. Some of them wanted to be close to their children and some of them just wanted to run away. People kept talking to each other all the while the speaker is trying to break the bread of life to us. My wife and I are very calm in situations like these. We do not freak out but we do not under-exaggerate the problem either. Whenever their is a tornado or a storm anywhere near Robertson County we get phone calls from people telling us to “TAKE SHELTER” because “THIS ONE IS REALLY BAD.” Our thoughts are usually, “how is this one any different from the thousands we have seen before?” But there is always the fear of the uncertain and so usually we will take cover some where. Back to last night…about 3 minutes after some men left the auditorium they came back and one of the elders walked up to the podium and announced that the storm was really bad and we should take cover in our fellowship room which was mostly underground. Most people were calm about it but there were quite a few who immediately got on the cell phones and called all over the place to see who was where and what was where. People would relay, “The tornado was seen in……..” or, “there were reports of a tornado that touched down near……” My thoughts are, “Who cares where there have been reports about the tornado all we need to be concerned about is that things are ok right here and right now.” but I do see the logic in knowing where something is so that you can make necessary preparations. Maybe I am too laid back when it comes to this stuff (I never used to be…marriage to my wife has rubbed off on me). We got chairs set up in the fellowship room and everything turned out to be fine. I doubt I will ever experience something like that again but it was a good life lesson to watch people’s reactions. I flipped through and found Psalm 29 (by chance or on purpose?) and read it in the New Living Translation and thought it was so appropriate for last night.
1 Honor the Lord, you heavenly beings;
honor the Lord for his glory and strength.
2 Honor the Lord for the glory of his name.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
3 The voice of the Lord echoes above the sea.
The God of glory thunders.
The Lord thunders over the mighty sea.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
5 The voice of the Lord splits the mighty cedars;
the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf;
he makes Mount Hermon leap like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord strikes
with bolts of lightning.
8 The voice of the Lord makes the barren wilderness quake;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord twists mighty oaks
and strips the forests bare.
In his Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!”
10 The Lord rules over the floodwaters.
The Lord reigns as king forever.
11 The Lord gives his people strength.
The Lord blesses them with peace.
May you be blessed with peace. God reigns over the hearts of men but he also reigns over the storms of the earth!