You can dance in a hurricane

I feel like this blog has stopped being funny, perhaps in the way that it stopped being excessively whine-y or compulsively approval-seeking, even when I didn’t realize it was. When I read to my students things I’ve written, I stick with the funny stuff. College writing classes aren’t really the place to talk about Jesus, at least not outside of the BYU. I never went to BYU, so I truthfully don’t know if religious subjects come up in all types of classes. When it comes to BYU, I know nothing, Jon Snow. I know as much about BYU as I know about potty training boys on the spectrum, which is to say, not a lot.

There was a time when I would try to take the horrible, poo-smeared experiences in my daily life and turn them into something funny. It was a method of coping, of taking control of an awful thing and consciously shaping into a story designed to make people laugh. But readers, I’m not a humorist. I’m just me, living this life and writing it down the way God tells me to, which may make me and this too much for some people.

I get it, and that’s okay.

On that note, Jack woke us up at five this morning. Even if I wanted to be an early-riser to exercise in the cold, dark, predawn (I don’t), I couldn’t do it because Jack likes to frequently get us up at five am for shenanigans. Five am mornings throw the rest of the day into shambles. We can sometimes get him back to sleep for awhile before the bus comes, but the morning is nevertheless shot. Everything is off-kilter. Autism rejects the household’s wish for a regular, seven am wake up time. Jack is grumpy the rest of the day. I’m impatient and irritable. Bedtime is a hazy mirage an eternity away.

Jack had to be restrained FIVE TIMES today. Twice at school and three times at home. This is what the five am rising does to us. It means Jack breaks the TV remote, tries to break windows, throws chairs down the stairs, and tries to hurt people.

When I drove to Costco this afternoon, I heard this line in a song on the coffee house acoustic channel (me likey) on the satellite radio: “You can dance in a hurricane, but only if you’re standing in the eye.”

Indeed, they have a point. You can move how you wish, but only in the eye of the storm. Dancing is impossible when you’re being whipped about.

This is where the earnestness comes in.

It’s one thing to be funny about the TV remotes and hobbit feet flying every which way through my life. It’s another to find the eye of the hurricane, a place of counter-intuitive calm at the center of the blowing fence posts.

The eye of my hurricane is Jesus. When I’m centered spiritually, the storm still blows, but I am not caught up in it.

Less-centered me would be tempted to think, “Well I like Jesus, too, but I don’t see how He is the eye of the figurative hurricane. How does that even work?”

I think it’s a blend of trying to be like Jesus, which includes doing what He taught, and genuinely believing He will give you strength beyond your capacity. Not just theoretically. For real. Actual forgiveness. Actual empowerment. An actual refuge.

This is what I’ve been learning in the last twelve months since I embarked on that unexpected and non-ironic spiritual journey. I’ve begun to figure out how to center myself in the eye of the storm and be peaceful there.


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