Friday, December 19, 2008

On the Clean Side of the Storm

Throughout today, as we touched base with friends, family and neighbors in west Houston and beyond, I’ve heard over and over again: “At least we were on the clean side of the storm.”
I’ll admit I had similar thoughts around 3 am as I was pulling up radar on my Centro and noticing how much worse it seemed just a few miles east of us. News reports today confirmed that downtown and east Houston fared far worse than our neighborhood. Of course none of us can compare with the damage closer to the coast.

It’s all a matter of perspective. Our neighborhood has power (and internet – thus this blog) but no water. Most those around us – even just across the parkway – have none of the above. Driving to friends this afternoon – quick aside: not even a hurricane could keep the Ferguson and Simpson families from watching the Clemson game. As soon as we heard that the Sorensen home had a dish that worked and a generator – we were there. Thanks Doug and Jenny for indulging us…… driving to friends and then surveying the damage at church I realized that things are still a mess here on the clean side of the storm.

Life comes in degrees.

You can always find someone who got hit harder by the storm and find someone who has barely been touched. But when you think about it neither makes the damage in your yard any less real.

Life comes in degrees…but each degree counts.

A few years ago the church I served in the Silicon Valley rode the tech bubble to the top. At one point we had a $22M budget and a huge staff. Then the bubble burst and IPOs were making everyone millionaires. In the aftermath we had to greatly reduce our staff by letting 61 people go.

This fall at Grace to restructure the budget to align more strategically to our vision we let go of 3 staff positions.

I thought 3 would be much easier than 61 – by degree it should be 1/20th easier – it isn’t.

Life comes in degrees and we should never forget that so much of what we experience is a minor nuisance (such as a temporary loss of power) while others around the world (and just around the corner) suffer so much more. But it doesn’t make our losses any less real… even on the clean side of the storm.

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