The Storm Before the Calm

2019-05-23T10:38:34-07:00 January 13th, 2017|Tags: , , |

Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.

Have you ever found yourself going through periods when it seems that nothing is going right? Difficulties abound, be they in the business, family or personal realms.

The issue of life’s storms came to mind recently as I awaited a train at Union Station in downtown Toronto. Union Station has been undergoing renovation for years and every visit seems like a new life experience! One week, pedestrian traffic is funneled along one route through a virtual labyrinth, the next week, a different route. In a fit of what one can only hope is honest communication, management has placed signs everywhere proclaiming “the storm before the calm,” a rather clever takeoff on the old expression “the calm before the storm.”

Actually, I must confess that sometimes I almost feel entitled to some respite from the storms of life. After all, have I not had more than my fair share of the negative? Surely, as a matter of fairness, I am due some peace and tranquility. Can you relate?

I recall a meeting years ago at which Rick Warren, the author of “The Purpose Driven Life”, spoke. Rick said that he used to think life was a series of ups and downs. More recently, he had concluded that it was more akin to a railroad track. On one rail were the challenges of life, on the other the blessings, and both were occurring at the same time!

Think of life not as a series of ups and downs, but rather, blessings and challenges occurring concurrently.

His perspective certainly aligns with my life experience. Just yesterday, Mary and I received several blessings and concurrently encountered a challenge or two. I am still trying to forgive myself for scraping the side of my car against a pillar in an underground parking lot! By the way, is it only me, or has anyone else encountered malevolent parking garages?

The Bible is very realistic when it comes to the human condition. In fact, Jesus said that every single one of us (not just some of us) will (not might) experience problems. This does not seem like very good news. However, Jesus also provides the solution when he said:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

He also said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

I need to constantly remind myself that experiencing peace is not a function of the absence or presence of troubles but rather being in a vibrant relationship with the God who created me. How is your peace quotient?

Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.