A to Z Challenge – Day Six
F = Flip
You need to flip your focus to make your own way. Things line up a certain way in the world. Paths move in the same direction. Until . . . you flip your focus. Even the ordinary has room to be extraordinary when views from a unique perspective.
If you are looking for something to complain about, you can always find something to complain about. I’ve heard people complain about HOW others complain.
The weather – at least around here – can be amazing fodder for complaining.
The other day, the weatherman started declaring how rough an upcoming even would be. “The weather is coming,” he warned. Each day, as the front moved closer, the degree of warning increased.
The night arrived. The clouds thickened before the sun set and made night appear to come on sooner (almost like it did before the government stole our morning). The lightning soon produced the only light we could see. Increased flashes announced the approaching severe weather. The pressure dropped and we braced ourselves for the worst.
A low, eerie hum started over the ridgeline we had been watching. Memories of that day of tornadoes of April 27, 2011, began swirling through my mind.
We were spared this time.
Although the noise we hear corresponded with the tornado the weather report tracked, it never came down low enough to do any real damage – one tree lost its footing and will need to be taken down to be safe. The same tornado went on to do major damage in neighboring communities. No deaths were reported.
Spring – and its tumultuous weather patterns – had come early to Alabama.
The next morning, not even one day into spring, I read a declaration about having had enough of the weather. “I’m ready for tornado season to be over.”
Some of the same people had been complaining about the cold a few weeks before, or the rain, or the heat before that. No matter what the weather was, they wanted it to be something else.
The joke was on them, though. A few days later, the same area was under a freeze warning.
There may be a time for every season, but in Alabama sometimes the seasons flash through in the morning, afternoon, evening, and night. In other words, if you don’t like the weather around here, give it a minute. Complaining won’t change a thing – well, it may change how likely I am to listen to you next time.
I understand that severe or extreme weather creates stress – so much so that most people don’t have any interest in looking at the benefits of the storm. But there are benefits if we are willing to look.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 declares, “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.”
Not only is there a season, but there is a reason as well.
Flip the Focus to See the Purpose
- Did you know every river carries silt and sludge within its current as it moves towards the ocean? Over time, the deposits build up and if left alone they would build up to the point of blocking the mouth of the river. When a hurricane strikes, it stirs up the waters and acts like nature’s vacuum cleaner.
- Did you know some plants need extreme heat to bloom? When wildfires ravaged the area, the heat feeds the seeds of the plants allowing them to bloom and flourish after the fires have gone out.
- did you know when a tornado tears through a countryside, it creates nooks and crannies in the ripped trees. It also creates debris fields that are beneficial to wildlife and ecosystems.
- Did you know some extreme cold temperatures kill off invasive and aggressive insects (including Japanese beetles, yellow jackets, and even fire ants). Long-term, below freezing weather, reduces their effects on the environment (and your summertime fun).
Take a moment to look beyond what you’ve been trained to see. There is a reason for the season. Accepting comes not by determining whether the weather is worth it but HOW the weather was designed to work.
Discover the benefits of weather by taking a moment to flip your focus. Use this same practice to flip the focus of the others storms that tear through your life. You create a world of possibilities for your life when you learn to flip the focus.
Flip Your Focus to Find Your Peace
Practical Proverbs offers simple ideas – pulled from the Wisdom of the Proverbs – to live a life of peace, joy, and encouragement.