In the Midwest, we’re pretty sure hell has finally frozen over.  The first storm dealt a knockout blow in December and each time we try to stand, another one sucker punches us then kicks us in the ribs while we’re writhing on the floor.  It’s been a rough winter.

However, I watched a recent winter storm from a different view and it reminded me of the benefit of giving ourselves another way to looking at the storms in our lives.

I fought my way through the pugilistic pounding of a blizzard with whiteout conditions and forty miles-per-hour winds to the apartment of my friends, Floyd and Kathy Hammer- the founders of Outreach, Inc. They recently purchased an apartment on the 5th floor of a building on a hill overlooking Des Moines, Iowa.

Once inside the apartment, I realized how different it was to watch it from five stories up rather than on the sidewalk leaning into the fury.   The American flag at window-height was eerily illuminated and flapped violently in the blowing snow.  The streetlights cast a sequined glow over cars plodding along the treacherous lanes. The treetops gyrated like upside down eggbeaters. It was beautiful.

Here are the benefits from a different view of the storm

    • I could think clearly enough to know the storm was only temporary

Often when we’re in the middle of the storm, we think it will last forever.  Granted, while the effects of the storm might linger for a time, storms do blow over.

    • I could see the positive results of the storm

The Midwest has been fighting a drought for some time and the storms have brought much needed moisture for our crops, rivers, and lakes.  However, when we are in the middle of a personal storm, it’s very hard to see positive results- we just want the storm to end.

    • I need to be prepared for the storms 

Most of us prefer to maximize pleasure and minimize pain so we don’t want personal storms to come our way.  However, it’s better to put the seatbelt on before crash instead of after it. I was reminded to sink my roots deeper in my faith before the next storm hits. I’m not a pessimist; I’m a realist; another storm will come.

    • I need to seek protection from the storms

Storms are going to hit; that is life. Key to making it through the storms is finding places of refuge. I find refuge in the solace of my wife; in the giggles of my grandchildren; just being around my children; giving greater effort to my work; and long walks along a Kansas creek.

Dr. Vincent Amanor-Boadu, a professor at Kansas State University, says, “There is one thing no one can ever take away from you; your power to interpret your own circumstances.”

A different view of the storm gives you the power to interpret it how you choose.


Note: Thanks to Polly Hupfeld from Outreach, Inc.- who suggested that I write this blog after I told her how cool it was to watch the storm from five stories up!