If a lifetime of living in the Midwest has instructed me rightly that I can expect some damage, but a month from now I probably won't see even a vestige of damage. As human beings we are not so adept at sorting through damage in our lives to extract what we can and move forward.
Too often I get stuck in a place where the if-only and but-if and couda, shoulda, woulda tumult runs amok in my head. I start out to be smart and rational and try to figure out what I could have done differently and learn what I can, but too often I find I have slid off the path of learning into the undergrowth of regret, replaying things in my head that I can not change. I may have contributed to a problem in amounts large or small; I certainly hate making the same mistake again and again because I failed to learn from experience.
But once I get there, it is fear that builds walls against the next necessary part. Forgiving all involved, including myself, weaving the lesson(s) deeply into my life and stepping out again, stronger and wiser as I face the next challenge.
Because life is full of challenges and change and new opportunities to apply knowledge gained and gain new knowledge from new circumstances. It is much like a walk in the woods; when we act rashly we learn about poison ivy and twisted ankles and dehydration. But if we focus on those learning experiences we will lose the joy of sunlight through the canopy and the songs of birds and the quiet water seen through the early morning mist.
So, no matter the storm that has our attention today, cling to hope, be willing to learn, take time to heal because there are new adventures head. And when the adventures end here, God has glorious surprises yet to come.