Weathering the storm... - From the Field and Around the World with TGOC
It was a beautiful sunny Friday morning in Middle Tennessee. The date - April 10, 2009. The calendar would read “Good Friday,” and provided a little more opportunity for many to be off from work and enjoying what began as a wonderfully crisp spring morning.
That morning was not much different for me personally in my job. I had to visit some new construction sites in Franklin, Tennessee before heading near Spring Hill, then back to Franklin and returning hopefully for an early afternoon at the office in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Around 10:30, I had left the office to venture to my first stop and appointment which would be around 12:00. I stopped and put gas in the van, grabbed something to eat and drink and set out on the interstate in the direction I needed to go. At that time, I-840 was only Hwy 840, and that was my preferred travel route to where I was going. Just over half-way between Murfreesboro and Spring Hill was where I needed to exit. Right before that exit is a very long curve that completely changes direction of travel. A few minutes before I approached this area, I had been on the phone with my wife and then my dad. It was during the conversation with my dad that all of a sudden, the daylight turned fiercely dark and large hail began to pound down on the van I was driving. I remember jokingly saying (quoting a movie of that time) “debris, there is debris,” before telling my dad that I needed to hang up and focus on the road.
My wife called me back just after I had ended that call to tell me of the weather warnings that were being broadcast on the local television stations. I was at the point of the long curve I mentioned previously and began to make the turn in the northern direction when I noticed multiple vehicles pulled over on the side of the road opposite me that all had their phones out…all pointed directly toward me! I said “honey….there are people recording me driving down the road…and I have no idea why!” I would very quickly find out.
When I rounded the curve and my obstructed view (no windows in the van except front and rear) was clarified, it was then that I looked out the passenger window and realized that I had just driven through the “eye” of a tornado! Those people weren’t filming “me” driving. They were filming what I had driven through!
This particular tornado would continue its path in the shadows of the path I had just driven. This particular tornado was the one on record of causing the most damage that day, including the loss of life of a young mother and her child. I mention that it was this tornado because there were actually 10 tornadoes that swept through Middle Tennessee that day causing millions and millions of dollars in damage, several injuries, and these two fatalities. Such a sad day…yet it was known as “Good Friday” on the calendar.
The story could go on to talk about what happened the rest of the day, but there are hundreds of those stories that can be read or heard. I was fortunate and blessed to be able to make it back home safely that night - very late as I had wiggled through three of those tornadoes just to get from one place to another where I needed to be. After getting back to the area in which the tornado hit (keep in mind that in 2009, media was very good, but I was able to get back to the point of “ground zero” before much media had set up broadcasts, so the magnitude of the storm had not been a reality for me until I saw it first-hand, cell phones were down and the news on the radio was focused on the still moving storms), I joined some acquaintances that went to help those that we knew of that needed immediate help in recovery.
Let’s turn this to a point of this article…we are ALL going to face a storm or two in our lives. This storm was a physically devastating storm; yet, spiritually, we will face as devastating of a storm at times, and if we are not careful, we will fall victim to the damages that it may cause. You see, even with the best preparation that we have in technology today, neither I, nor most of those that were in the paths of these tornadoes had enough warning to make complete preparation. It is quite surprising to me, but providential in my mind, that there were not many more casualties that day. I am afraid that in the spiritual realm of things, that a lack of preparedness will not fair so well with opportunities to recover and “rebuild.”
With that thought, I turn your attention to Acts 27 to see how the apostle Paul was prepared to handle the storm he was faced with. He was prepared with faith, endurance, and confidence in his spirituality. I think we can all learn from seeing how he handled that situation…and survived both physically, and more importantly, spiritually! He would go on to write the letter to the churches in Rome and would encourage us all to realize that we will face difficult times in our lives and he even gives us some comfort of assurance in chapter 8.
I hope that you are prepared for the storms of life. It is my prayer that we each one can be more intentional toward our spiritual storm preparation, as well as with helping others prepare for theirs. That is one of our goals at The Gospel of Christ. We strive to Take the Whole Gospel to the Whole World! We do our best to accomplish this through various means, and that includes our Field Rep and Electronic Media Ministries, in which is my personal privilege and responsibility in this work.
This work does not come without its own storms as well and honestly, they are tough storms sometimes to recover from. Satan is always trying to “stir up the storm” and generate a whirlwind of confusion. Personally, I need your prayers in my own strength to battle the storms that pop-up unannounced that sometimes seem much like that portrait of April 10, 2019 when I rounded that curve to see others in what I thought was a video of me driving. Obviously, as explained, the “storm” was the center of attention and not me. I was just in the midst of a huge storm, and I need to realize that spiritually sometimes just as much!
In the field…
As summer begins, our schedules get a little challenging, but we also are in a lot of meetings and speaking engagements. We hope you may be able to meet one of our Field Reps as we do travel around. As always, we would love to try to schedule a time to visit with you!
Around the world…
We have a lot of exciting things happening in the Electronic Media world. We are redesigning our labeling, adding more Digital Download items, reconfiguring some of our offerings to be more effective and less costly, and adding new broadcasts frequently! Be sure to watch our social media feeds as well as check our website often for new broadcasts!
Until the heat starts to rise up next month…
May God bless you all and thank for your encouragement and prayers for the program.