We lost power around 9:30 in the morning. That removed all the electronic distractions that invade my spirit. I could no longer watch endless loops of hurricane reports. There would be no views of newscasters standing near sea walls telling viewers not to venture near the sea walls like they were doing with the ocean waves roaring in the background. There would be no viewing the circular patterns of the hurricane on the weather channel's radar. No internet. No checking email. No Red Sox baseball. Rather I was given the opportunity to observe the reality of my immediate world around me in the "quiet" of a hurricane! It was a Sunday without church responsibilities. It was an enforced Sabbath.
I realized I've never done Sabbath very well. For years I've carried several responsibilities at church. Even though I have been deeply blessed, at times it has felt like a second job. But this Hurricane Irene Sunday would be different.
There were a couple of things that I observed and kind of marveled at. One was that all the wave action and current seemed to go upstream on our river fed lake. It was like God was saying, "I will do the unexpected, like part the sea so my people can safely cross." Another thing I observed was that while all the other wildlife we enjoy on the lake took shelter, the ducks seemed completely unfazed by all that was going on around them. They swam, they flew, they spent the day feeding in the lake in front of our apartment. What makes them so different from all the other fowl on the lake? I just drew a real peace from watching them. It was like they understood what God meant when He said, "Be still and know I am God." Or in Psalm 23, where David says, "He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul."
Noah and his family along with his precious cargo aboard the ark witnessed the complete devastation of 150 days of rain. Then ...