Monday, October 8, 2007

A Matter of Faith

Brrrr! That art print makes me shiver just to look at it. It's called, appropriately enough, "Stormy Waters" and Anna Cohran is the artist. (Just one of the thousands of great prints that can be found if you pop in at

The reason I pulled it up is because it's so illustrative of the current weather prognostication for my neck of the woods for the next 24-or-so hours. There is supposed to be a high-wind situation from just after midnight until late tomorrow afternoon.

You wouldn't know it by looking outside. In fact, it's been extremely quiet all day, mostly overcast and, occasionally, lightly breezy.

High wind warnings are normal here this time of year and, ordinarily, one pays minimum attention to them. Quite often the thrust of the storms will sweep north of this location so we don't necessarily get hit hard by all of them. But, in Oregon, when you mention high winds on Columbus Day, you bring back memories of the horrific Big Blow of 1962. If you Google "Columbus Day storm," you'll see what I mean.

No, I don't think we have anything even remotely like that coming in. I'm just saying there is the inevitable connection between weather and date, no matter what the current status may be. Even so, I made sure my flashlight and candles are handy.

Which raises an interesting philosophical question: by preparing for emergencies, do we create a situation ripe for self-fulfilling prophesies? I mean that jokingly, of course. I certainly don't believe preparation for disaster will cause the disaster. It's just that it made me think about the power of focused affirmation, which can be either negative or positive. How often are we warned about worrying so much we bring on the very thing we fear? And how often do we pray for a happy outcome?

One of my favorite stories about the importance of faith, or belief, goes like this: The countryside was suffering from serious drought so the pastor called everyone to the church to pray for rain. He stepped up to the pulpit and looked over the congregation. "We are gathered together to pray for rain," he said. "Why have none of you brought umbrellas?"

Funny thing about human nature and faith -- it's ever so much harder to believe in the good outcome over the bad outcome. Take the fellow who fell off the cliff and barely managed to grab a bush jutting out from the canyon wall. Looking down, he saw there was nothing but a straight drop to the rocks hundreds of feet below. Looking up, there was only bare rock, with no way of climbing it. Desperate, he began to scream, "Help! Help!"

To his surprise, the voice of God thundered out of the clouds and God said, "I will save you if you only have faith. Let go of the bush."

"You'll save me?"


"But I have to let go of the bush?"


There was a long silence. Then, "Help! Help!"

Well, I have to admit, I sympathize with the dangling guy. Perhaps we could all stand to exercise our faith muscles and make them stronger. In the meantime, I take comfort in something my Dad always said: "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and make the most of what you get." I think that just about covers all the bases.


Denver doug said...

Bases well covered I think.

There was a saying in the depression that goes to a bit of length. About all I can remember of it is, "Fix it, make do or do without."

John Bailey said...

Hold firmly onto your hat, Dee! :-)

Mage And George said...

I did see the satilite images this morning, and it looks like a good one coming in. Batten down the hatches.

bonnie said...

Are you in drought condition's there this year? I remember rain pouring through your roof but can't remember if that was this year.

Dee said...

You almost had it, Doug! "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." We've sure gotten away from that concept, haven't we?

John, Mage, I'm tucked in and battened down but the big-time storm is, so far, pretty tame. The wind, such as it is, didn't even start up until about 4:30 a.m. and now, at nearly 8:00 a.m., it keeps sailing the clouds overhead but there's not much "oomph" here on the ground. That's a Good Thang.

Bonnie, no drought around here! The indoor rain was this past winter. Hopefully, the landlord did a good job of patching and we can keep the wet on the outside this winter.