Powerless


We were without electricity for a good chunk of the weekend. On Saturday and Sunday from 9 – 5, the power was off in our neighborhood for some planned work being done by BC Hydro. We anticipate the same next weekend.

Other than having to go to the bathroom in the dark (with a tiny Yorkie scratching at the door left open a couple of inches to allow a titch of light in the room), it was no hardship. With books, watercolour paint, and reasonably good weather to go outside, the days passed quietly and pleasantly.

We, of course, missed attending online church, but spent the time at the garden instead. Gerry took his camera and photographed owls in a nearby tree, and I pondered, planned, and planted.

At home, I repotted succulents I keep on my kitchen windowsill, I started cucumbers and pattypan squash indoors, we topped up the big flowerpots outside, and I tucked a few cold hardy pansies into some of them. It’s still too cold at night to plant the rest of my flowers, but soon. Very soon.

We sat outside and surveyed the backyard—newly fenced to keep Murphy safe—and remembered summers past and looked forward to this summer.

We played chess, read books, I splashed watercolour on paper, and time passed pleasantly. Not all that much different than days with electricity, in fact.

Now it’s Monday. We face challenges this week and, truth be told, I’m not eager for this day to begin. There’s a sense of wanting to linger in the vestiges of the powerless, peaceful weekend. But life doesn’t work like that, does it? Time passes, the electricity comes back on, and we face whatever comes next.

Many years ago, I attended Al Anon, a twelve step recovery group for those living with someone with an addiction. The first step—and it’s the same in all twelve step groups—is admitting our powerlessness over ________  (insert problem here). Be it a loved one’s substance abuse, or the inevitability of trials, I’m powerless to prevent it and I’m powerless to control it. As the first step goes on to say, life becomes unmanageable at times.

Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. That’s step two. If step one is letting go, the second step is picking up. There’s so much packed in the words of this step.

Came to believe. It’s far from an one-and-done event.

Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.

No person with faith of any measure hasn’t wrestled with this (If they tell you they haven’t . . . well, I’d run.) We come to believe again and again. We struggle. Ask questions. What do we believe? Who do we believe? Who can we trust enough to admit our powerlessness to?

I’m not exactly sure how I got here from where I started this post talking about our simple, electricity-less weekend. It’s just another example of how, for me (and maybe for you), life presents lessons when we pay attention. In reflecting on my literal powerlessness I’m reminded of other areas in which I don’t have the control I might wish for. And I’m drawn again to the work of coming to believe. The good work the work that yields the most reward.

So, Monday, here we go. Another week of learning to let go and coming to believe.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm here early most mornings with one of my photos and a few words about life and those thin places where faith intersects.
1 comment
  1. Thanks, Linda. During the major cold and snow that poured in on south Texas this February, I came to the same conclusion. It was a relief and time for relaxing. We couldn’t go anywhere, no television, computer, or radio to fill my mind with crazy things of the world. It gave us time to breathe and be thankful in what we have.

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