As most of you know, I live in the [now] snow-covered state of New York. I was looking for an official snowfall report for the town in which I work and am currently snowed in....apparently we received something like 19.4 inches of snow between yesterday afternoon and this morning. This is a picture of my car after I chiseled the ice off the back windshield (with the help of some of my co-workers). I got off work at 5 this morning and was so grateful to the guys I work with who helped shovel the snow drifts that were past my knees and push my car out of the parking spot so I could make it back to my hotel. Thankfully the Lord told me to book a hotel just down the street from my job this weekend. He knew there would be no driving back to Nyack for me today!
As I sit here in my hotel room pondering the happenings of the past 24 hours, I am realizing new things about myself and the God whom I love so dearly. I have now survived two record-breaking storms since moving to New York six months ago: Sandy and Nemo. By the way, whoever decided to name a terrible winter storm after a cute little orange fish was really odd. Anyway, in both cases, I was only made aware of the storms a day or two prior to their arrival. I don't get television in my apartment and don't keep up with news on the Internet. I am realizing that being uninformed of current happenings has become a habit for me. I never pay attention to polls or speeches during elections, only learning enough to make a somewhat-informed decision when I exercise my voting rights. I don't pay attention to world events, usually catching wind of significant things second-hand and long after the fact. I only started analyzing this habit this evening while avoiding piles of seminary reading.
On the one hand, being uninformed of current events could be looked upon as extremely self-centered, not to mention a little silly, especially if they have a direct impact upon my life, like Sandy and Nemo. On the other hand, I know from past experiences that watching/reading the news and talking about big events/disasters incessantly negatively impacts my life. Often the media hypes things up, causing anxiety and panic. Depending on the point of view of the report, a person's interpretation of the event could be completely wrong. I've found that watching the news makes me anxious and depressed, so I choose not to. I prefer to draw my own conclusions about things, rather than be told how to interpret them.
I am only now realizing the entire impact of Winter Storm Nemo on New York and the rest of the Northeast. However, at the time when the storm impacted me the most, God gave me exactly what I needed to weather it. He provided guys to dig out my car, a hotel close to my job, clear main roads to make it back to the hotel safely, a nice 711 guy who let me park my car in the lot when my hotel lot was completely blocked, and a bunch of random strangers to push my car out of the 711 lot when I found it was stuck and was trying to get back to the hotel parking lot. I am so thankful for a God who, in spite of my silliness in not being informed of weather patterns, continues to protect and take care of me. He always gives me little hints just in time and sends people to me to help me weather the storms.
Both storms that have affected New York in the past few months have been worse than people anticipated. While there is something to be said for being informed in order to be prepared, sometimes life just catches us by surprise. There is absolutely no way that we can be prepared for every little detail of every moment. Praise be to the One who knows every detail and holds us tightly in His hand in the midst of the unexpected storms of life.