The TV reporter announced: Tornado Warning.
Panic ricocheted through my body.
Wait! Which is worse? Tornado Warning or Tornado Watch?
Is it, “WARNING! There’s a tornado in your area?”
Or is it, “Take cover! We’re WATCHING a tornado in your area?”
I can’t remember!
Do I wake the babies now and hide in the closet or should I wait a little longer?
Can I drag a mattress into the closet with two babies and a toddler in my arms?
Larry was at work, and I was taking care of a friend’s baby as well as my two young kids.
My thoughts scrambled in the tornado of emotions. Fear paralyzed my ability to respond well.
Panic was all I could see.
The Storm Inside
Years later, a close friend of mine was abused.
Rage ripped through me as I faced her abuser.
A storm had hit, and it was inside me. Anger paralyzed my ability to respond correctly.
Revenge was all I could see.
What You Absolutely Need to Know Before Your World Explodes
If you have a pulse, a storm is headed your way. And I don’t just mean Hurricane Matthew.
If we can’t stop it, we have two other options: Fly through it or over it.
We can fly through it and deal with the damage afterward. Or we can fly above the storm by understanding this principle:
People don’t rise to the occasion.
They fall back to the level of their training.
Let that sink in.
I learned that from a security specialist recently who adapted it from a quote by an ancient Greek soldier.
Research shows that when our blood pressure rises, our heart rate shoots up. As our heart rate increases, our ability to think with clarity decreases.
Once our heart rate reaches a certain level, neural connections leading to the cerebellum do their thing — or don’t do it — and we become paralyzed.
This helps explain why mass shootings are able to occur even when there’s many capable men and women around and only one gunman.
I’m afraid my training includes more fainting than Jackie Chan.
Policemen, firemen, FBI agents, soldiers, spies, black belts, cage fighters etc. tend to jump in.
Did they rise to the occasion?
Not really. They merely fell back on their training — their excellent training.
They’re able to remain calm and think clearly because they’ve been trained to control their emotions in the midst of a fight.
Despite our best intentions, we don’t rise to the occasion. We fall back on our training.
What type of training do we need and how do we get it?
Is this only true for physical storms and battles?
What about spiritual ones?
We’ll look at those answers tomorrow.
PS — Hurricane Matthew is roaring down on Florida and apparently planning to loop back and hit what it missed the first time through.
Let’s all be in prayer for those in its path, like my brother and his family.
Pray also for the people of Haiti, the Bahamas, and all the other islands devastated by this very serious hurricane.