So, do you have your stuff together?  As we move into the upcoming hurricane season this is the question being brought to the forefront of everyone’s mind here in Florida.  Come to think of it, I guess it really doesn’t matter where you live as the same question could apply whether you find yourself in the tornado alley of the Midwest or the earthquake zone of California.  As I reflect on this question I’m reminded that it often comes punctuated with a tinge of fear so as to create a real sense of urgency, that prodding that many of us need to get off the dime and get our stuff together.  This has caused me to pause even further, take notice and consider what it means to be prepared for the “stuff” of our lives as well.  Here too we might need to be prodded with the same sense of urgency so we can be even better prepared on this other “home front” of our lives.  So, I’ve been thinking recently about the parallels between the emergency list for the natural disaster and the emergency list for a “life” disaster in hopes of gaining some correlating insights.  One thing seems to be conclusive for sure…in either case it certainly seems appropriate that we should be hearing the clarion call for preparedness.

As I’ve considered the parallels, I’ve hit upon one common denominator that deserves particular note…the critical need for a flashlight.  Think on this for a minute or two.  When the power goes out in a natural disaster and we’re left to rummage around in the dark we need a light that will show us the way to safety; that reliable source of light that can illumine the path of uncertainty that is found in the disorienting darkness.  But don’t we have the same need in life?  Just think, for instance, how difficult it is (not to mention the energy it takes) to navigate the darkness of loneliness and despair.  Sometimes this darkness we experience can even catch us totally off guard.  For example, our incessant need for privacy can throw us into darkness as we sacrifice community for anonymity causing us to lose our way along the relational road of life.  Its no wonder life can seem so pale and subdued at times.  We need exposure to the light.  We need someone to be the “flashlight into our closet.”  Who is it for you? Is it the revealing light that one can find in the accountability of a close friend?  Is it found in the guiding radiance that can be experienced as we become one with our spouse?  Perhaps the best place to find it is faithfully turning to the “light of the world” as our eternal source of guidance.  Whatever you do or to whomever you turn this is one time we all need to heed the call to be prepared.  Who knows?  In doing so we might just discover the kind of peace that can only be found in the midst of the storm.  Peace.