A rancher interviewed a number of men in the process of trying to find a new ranch foreman. All one man said when asked if he could do the job was, “I can sleep through the storm.” Soon after he was hired, a torrential storm came with gale-force winds and pelting rain. The rancher went to the bunkhouse and banged on the door. He couldn’t believe that the new foreman was in there sleeping. He was angry with the foreman and let words fly. The foreman responded, “I told you when you hired me that I could sleep through a storm.”
Upon inspection of the ranch, the rancher found that the animals were all taken care of, tarps covered the equipment and the haystacks, buildings were secure, everything was tied down—everything was taken care of. After riding through the night inspecting the ranch, the ranch owner understood what it meant to be able to say, “I can sleep through the storm.” ~Robert D. Hales
Tennessee and our neighboring states have recently experienced a number of "severe weather events" consisting of rain, hail, thunder, lightening, high winds, flooding, and tornadoes. The effects have ranged from soggy lawns and power outages to trees falling on homes and deaths.
These kinds of storms are scary all on their own. They have the potential to cause devastating damages. If you make a habit of watching the weather report you can get really worked up. Reporters get paid to make things interesting. "It's raining really hard" is not nearly as exciting as "We are currently experiencing torrential downpours that can potentially lead to flooded roads and dangerous conditions. PLEASE! BE CAREFUL!"
I am not saying to ignore common sense or put yourself in danger. (Reporters seem to like doing this, too. You know, standing in the rain trying not to get blown away by the gale-force winds.)
During all of this recent storm activity there were a lot of frightened people. Parents staying up all night to track the storms, kids sleeping in bathrooms and closets, families gripped with fear. REAL fear...for their lives!
I have been like that in the past. I would fret and worry and wring my hands and do everything I could to prepare and then....Nothing. Just rain and thunder. Maybe a little lightening. No damage. No downed trees. Not even kids crying in my bed. What a waste! All that serious worrying and for what?! NOTHING!!!!
I started to think this through logically. If a tornado hit our house, would it matter if I was awake before it happened? It isn't like I can see it coming during the night. What about lightening? If the house is struck will it make a difference if I am sleeping at the time?
I decided to make a plan like those emergency fire escape plans you always hear about but never actually do. I decided to think through this whole tornado/storm scenario. If we hear sirens, where will we go? If a tree in our yard fell, where might it hit the house? What yard items might get blown away by a strong wind? I made a sort of checklist for myself. If these criteria apply, I will do X. If they don't I will not worry. Period.
I recently read a quote that put all this worry into perspective. "Worry is anticipation that the outcome will be bad. Faith is anticipation that the outcome will be good. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is knowing that whatever the outcome, it will be for our best good." ~ Unknown
Elder Neil L. Andersen said "Fear and faith cannot coexist in our hearts at the same time." So when I am praying for the Lord to protect me and my family why would I spend hours shaking in my boots? If the Holy Ghost prompts me to act, then I should act. Otherwise, I should trust the that the Lord will protect us.
That is why I have been sleeping through these recent storms. Now, if I could just apply this to the other storms in my life!