Thursday, October 08, 2009

The fresh breath after the storm

Today a typhoon hit Japan. It said in the news that this was something like the first typhoon to directly hit the mainland since 2007. I don't know so much about typhoons. We hear about them every year, but I guess the don't often hit directly. From this far inland, I can't tell much of a difference from when they hit and when they don't. There's lots of wind and rain in both cases.

Anyway, today the school was worried about canceling classes. They were talking about it yesterday, and we were supposed to wait for phone calls in the morning telling us if there was school or not. Problem is that they make the decision at 6:30. I leave my house at 6. :-( So I have to get up and get ready and get most of the way to the bus before they let me know if I have to go or not. Fun.

They called me, and said that school was canceled for the students, but the teachers needed to come in. So I kept walking to the bus stop (30 mins in the rain, in not so comfortable shoes, but the only ones I have that are sufficiently rain proof. I really need some rain shoes.) I get on the bus, and right before the bus takes off, I get an e-mail from my company, telling me that I don't have to go to school. I e-mail back and said that the school told me to come in. Bus starts, and I don't really have much chance to make a decision. I'm on my way to school.

First part of the walk, the long one, didn't get me too wet. There's good sidewalk in my area. But near the school, there are almost no sidewalks. The rain started to fall harder. Fortunately I had thought ahead and brought a skirt to change into, and spare socks. I had planned on getting wet. What I forgot was that the on the road to school, it's very easy to get splashed by passing cars. And there are lots of big trucks on that road. Yeah, I got splashed. Less than a 10 min walk, and I get way more wet than the first walk. Now what I didn't think to bring was a change of underwear. Yeah, I got soaked that much. Great start to my day!

Go to school, change clothes, laugh with some of the teachers about it. I like days when the kids aren't there because the teachers are really relaxed and we can usually eat together and I can talk more with them. It's a nice atmosphere. But when the kids aren't there, I have absolutely NOTHING to do. I brought a book. Been at school less than an hour when my company calls the school and tells them that I don't have to work. (seems to me that it would be common sense. the other part time teachers hadn't been called in. I live freaking far away, and I have to commute either by bus or train. Trains don't run in typhoons.) So they tell me I can go home. After all that. Time to go back out. Fun.

Problem being that my next bus didn't come for an hour and the wind was blowing really hard (rain had stopped though.) I wanted to ride my bike back to the station so I could save money and have it to ride in the morning(I had left the bike at the school the day before because of the rain.) So I decided to see if the wind would die down. I waited about an hour. The time for the bus came, but the wind was still pretty strong. The schedule I had said there would be other bus during the 10 o'clock hour, so I decided to wait a little longer. When I decided that the wind was just not going to get any better any time soon, I decided to walk/ride the bike. I left my wet clothes at work, changed into the better shoes for walking now that the rain stopped, and went out.

Turns out it wasn't so bad riding the bike in the wind. The wind was warm (morning was cold.) so that was nice. Going out, I notice tree branches and leaves littered everywhere from the wind. I actually like wind. Reminds me a bit of Texas, minus the dust. Made it in time to grab breakfast from McDonalds before getting to the bus stop. Only to find the schedule had changed and there was no longer a bus during the 10 o'clock hour. The bus really does run at the most inconvenient times for me. :-( Next bus? 11:35. I have an hour and a half. That's a long wait, so I decide to try the trains.

Get on the trains, which are all delayed or canceled because of the winds. I can actually get home using trains in either direction, so after some deliberation, I decide to take whichever train shows up first. It goes one stop, and then... stops. No trains are moving again. I wait for about half and hour and decide that it would just be better to go back to the bus stop and take the bus. Buses can operate in the wind. Trains don't like wind.

So I exit, (paying for a completely useless train ride.) and walk back to the bus stop, about 30 mins. I make it in time. But now there is a huge line. I'm not kidding. It was long. Everyone else wanted to ride the bus too, since the trains weren't' running. I wondered if we could all fit. Somehow we packed onto the bus. Quite the adventure.

Get back around 12:30ish I guess. I get a little something to eat and drink and head home. Almost 2. 8 hours later, very tired, poorer and accomplished nothing. Yes, adventures in commuting. But walking outside wasn't so bad after the rain stopped. It became a nice day actually. I took a nap.

Anyway, the main point wasn't to tell you about my day, as fascinating as that was (please insert dripping sarcasm here.) I had a nice little analogy that I thought of while coming home and seeing the after effects of the storm.

The whole week leading up to the typhoon (which happens to be the week of my birthday) was rain. I hate rain. It's troublesome and depressing. And I just don't have the right shoes for commuting in the rain. (I didn't commute so much before, so it hadn't been this big of a problem for me yet.) It's oppressive.

The typhoon comes in, stirs things up. Brings more rain, and then wind. But the wind begins to blow the rain away. After the rain, the sun comes out and the air is fresh. I love the air after a typhoon. It's so clear. The wind is refreshing to me, clearing out my soul. You can see the debris of the storm. Branches and garbage littered about. There will need to be some clean up, but it's easy to see where. Dead branches have been ripped off trees. Weak things torn off. It just feels like a new start.

It feels to me like how God moves through our lives. We get caught up in the dreariness of living in our rainy hearts. The air is humid and oppressive. Skies are cloudy everyday. Not hard rain, just persistent rain. Bringing our spirits down.

Then God brings His Spirit moving among us. Things get a little hectic for a little while, but that's what happen when you have something as powerful as God moving around you. But when it's over, the air is cleared. You can breathe again. You have some cleaning up to do. No one stands before God without realizing the need for "clean-up." But God has done some of the work for you, stripping of dead branches, pruning things that aren't were they belong, or overreaching themselves. Sometimes taking healthy parts too. Now all we have to do is pick up the pieces. Not as hard as pruning ourselves. But there is hope in the air now. Hope left from God's Spirit. The darkness has been chased away. Light shines again. And I smile as the wind frees my spirits.

I am tired and sore from today's adventures in commuting. But when I look back on it, it's not such a bad day after all. My spirit is just a little fresher, my breathing just a little clearer. It's good typhoons don't come everyday. But I do like the air after a typhoon.

Today wasn't a bad day at all. Praise God.

1 comment:

Shihu said...

What can I say... I'm just long winded. ;-)