Yesterday, our family felt like we were “living in an Amish Paradise” as most of our island was without power courtesy of an intense, late-night thunderstorm. The storm changed the daily plans of many as it took down power lines and damaged electrical equipment all over our 48 mile wide and 26 mile long island.
Preschool and Kindergarten were canceled for the day, and Nicole and I learned new lessons about the 1L through the change in power and a busy signal.
No school for our oldest two boys meant our Tuesday “plates” were extra full as Nicole and I were "blessed" with juggling our one passion to make Jesus’ love known in every nation, two jobs, and all three kiddos. Plus, this is the week of our big move to a new house with a friend, so the power going out created a unique opportunity for stress to sneak in.
Since marriage in May of 2008, Nicole and I are learning that stress tends to snowball… Once in an intense season of stress, I (Joshua) was distracted, left my wallet on top of my car and drove away. This led to my wallet being lost, my credit card being stolen, and the new responsibilities of filing a police report, getting a new driver’s license, etc.
We try not to make the same mistake twice of letting stress snowball, but we are definitely works in progress and do not always respond as we should.
With no power, our cell phones did not function normally, and we heard something that we had not regularly heard since the 90’s—a busy signal.
Before mobile phones, before call-waiting, many of us remember the dreaded “busy signal.” This meant the person you were trying to reach was engaged with another call and therefore could not be reached. This busy signal was a staple in society showing the very reasonable truth that if a person is engaged in a call, one must wait to engage in another call until the current call is complete.
However, soon someone created “Call Waiting” notifying those on a call that someone else was trying to “get through.” This presented phone users with the decision either to temporarily ignore the incoming call or temporarily ignore the current call to see what awaited on the other line. Decisions, decisions—and this new notification feature soon affected how we treat people in many settings and communication platforms. Who is priority? Who should I ignore? What call should I take? The options created business of constant notifications and constant decisions that can quickly leave us so busy and interrupted that we can lack the ability to engage in productive relationships and satisfying completion of “jobs well done.”
Calls come at us every day via our phones, but the artist Propaganda points out that calls without electronic notifications may seem less urgent but are more important. He states: “Scroll through your brain's iPhone and unopened emails… How many of my daughters hugs did I not reply to?” We all receive calls, and we all are busy with work to do and tasks to engage in, but what calls are most important? Sending the “Busy Signal” can make us miss the One thing we are all created to live for—relationships.
Disclaimer — I am A.D.D. with “to-do” post-it notes incessantly raining from the cieling of my mind, and at times multi-tasking can be my most productive method of operation… Like playing drums with all of my appendages, I like to have multiple “irons in the fire”; nevertheless, I am learning that when I send my family and friends the “BUSY SIGNAL” they can’t get through, and I need to be careful not to display a busy signal too often.
I heard a joke recently from a friend:
“How many people with A.D.D. does it take to change a light bulb?” “Want to go ride a bike?” --- You’re welcome:)
My brother, a Pastor in North Carolina regularly preaches that: “I don’t have time and I don’t have money are not statements of fact but statements of value.” My Grandma Kay used to say: “We do what we want to do.” Monday morning, after a week and weekend packed with tasks, I made time to load up an old surf board in our van, and I was full of hope and anticipation because I saw white-water (notifying me of waves) while driving my sons to school. I had a board, the winds were light, and I discovered that the North shore had waves that were 5-7 Feet (Hawaiian Style).
After dropping off our older kids at school, I set out to drop in on some big waves by paddling my way out in to the lineup. My heart pounded as powerful displays of liquid, glassy energy started to roar over the shallow reef. I was full of respect for the ocean as these waves had the potential to take away breath and take away life if not responded to properly. Long-story short, I got worked by the ocean and barely scraped over the first of three abnormally huge waves and duck-dove the next two before deciding my session was done for the day. My desire to surf that day almost died when I experienced the power of the life-threatening conditions. Yet, this week the truth of God’s Word came alive to me in a fresh way in Isaiah 41:10 - “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Today, all of us our facing circumstances more life-altering than huge waves in the ocean. May we not let urgent notifications and incoming calls distract us from the primary priorities of (arrow-up) loving God and (arrow-down) loving people.
Our life groups at Waipuna Chapel are full of amazing people from many walks of life. We have young adults, adults, grandparents, parents, and people with no kids—all with the gamut of life-experiences and different upbringings learning together and engaging with the truths of God’s Word week after week. Last night some good friends with more life experience than many of us in the group talked about what it means for them to rest in a right relationship with Jesus. The group had talked about how the love and justice of God was satisfied on the cross; however, when this couple shared how this truth looks in their lives practically, we saw how God’s love has guided them and will continue to guide all of us. This led to an amazing time of singing and prayer.
Let’s not miss that powerful call to receive the 1L of Jesus today. May we die to ourselves and find rest in the life Jesus invites us to through a right relationship with God. God has called us to Himself and invited us to call to Him so He will answer us. “Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6).
His incredibly powerful—world-shaping & thunder-making—self. We are invited to be His beloved children and He promises to be with us.
We are called to live loved. When we know God’s love then we are able to be His love.
A friend of mine recently shared a unique “1L Sighting" with me--a picture at work that looked like the arrow up, arrow down “Know the Love; Be the Love” logo. He said it pointed to a POWER and COMMUNICATIONS source. The picture he shared is why I was encouraged to write this blog today. May we all be pointed to the power of God available to us because of the 1L of Jesus and communicate with God by prayer & downloading His Word. We have an opportunity to trust in His perfect power that will never fail if we will simply #SeekTheMostHigh.
God’s power far exceeds any thunderstorm or movement of the ocean. His love is never too busy for us. His love invites us to true life. May we all experience His One Love today.
- Joshua Marburger
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