After a week of shakeups, slides, and ascensions the market after today could be pretty close to where it was a week ago. If you paid attention to the fuss you are probably calling your chiropractor for an adjustment. Getting tossed is great for salads and angry baseball managers, but for the rest of us it is not fun. People, like markets, like predictable, and life throws us around when it isn’t that way.
Shakeups, though, have their blessings. They have a way of opening up deeper questions, showing what is below the surface. If I am a person who trusts money, this last week was unnerving. Many a publication carried pictures of Chinese investors in despair as their portfolios dwindled. Is this a chance to trust something better? Often I have seen people make significant changes after a health scare. Encountering the shakeups of this world often mobilizes change.
Recently, I got a first-hand glimpse of how people respond to ups and downs. On a flight to Guatemala City we were coming to land when suddenly the pilot pulled the yoke, increased the thrust, and forced the plane back into the sky. The next few minutes were tense. We turned hard into dark clouds. Turbulence hit. One bounce threw us into a fall. A few gasped. Some screamed.
When we landed one man threw his hands in the air and shouted, Thanks be to God! as the wheels hit the runway. Everyone applauded, including me.
My hunch is that more than one person on that plane asked a deeper question. Am I living the right way? Is there more out there? Am I really satisfied? It is what shake-ups do. They rattle us, but in so doing allow the deeper questions to come through the cracks to the surface which is, after all, where they need to be.
One evening Jesus was with his disciples in a boat. The disciples were working the boat, crossing from one side of Galilee to the other. Jesus was asleep. Suddenly a squall hits. Winds and waves rise, and instantly the boat and crew – all except one – find themselves in trouble.
The disciples do what they can, but fear begins to overtake the heart of the crew as the water begins to overtake the boat. One of the disciples finally wakes Jesus up – Lord, save us! We are about to drown! Then Jesus does what he can do. He calms the wind and the water and then asks “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” – Matthew 8:27.
We might think the story ends there with Jesus admonishing the guys, but not really. The disciples then ask a deeper question – What kind of man is this? There we go. That’s a shakeup question. After being bounced around, who is this man who sleeps through storms? Who is this guy who is so calm within he calms the without?
A peace like that is what I am looking for, and sometimes we find it after getting all shook up.
(thanks for reading, if you found a little Jesus in this please comment and share)