In light of recent events, I’ve been thinking about impact. As my parents and the rest of the Gulf Coast prepare for Isaac, I have been thinking about what it means to prepare for something like that, something that has the potential to be life changing. Granted, I am praying for my friends in the line of the storm and hoping they are in store for nothing more than a little rain and wind, but as a Floridian, I know that there is really no predicting the impact when it comes to these things.
And so, of course, I got to thinking that there really is no predicting the impact any event will have on your life. I feel like we spend so much time preparing ourselves for these various moments of life. From literally boarding up windows when a storm is headed our way to the emotional wars we sometimes have with ourselves debating one life-changing decision over another. We call ourselves preparing, analyzing the options, trying to brace ourselves for the consequences of one choice over another, but when we come to the crash we are never truly expecting what we get. Sometimes we get lucky and find that we over-prepared. And sometimes the force knocks the wind out of you in a way you could never have been ready for, let alone imagined.
But then, sometimes, the most significant moments in life are the ones we didn’t prepare for at all. The ones we never saw coming. The ones we wouldn’t have or couldn’t have prepared for even if we had seen them headed right for us from miles away; the moments that leave us breathless because they take us so completely by surprise. Be it good or bad, these are the moments worth living for. The ones that sneak up on you and make you feel every emotion on a level never before experienced. The ones people warned you about, but you couldn’t truly comprehend until you felt them for yourself.
So prepare for the things you can in the best way you know how. Board your windows. Weigh your options. But when something comes along that takes you by surprise, don’t be afraid to feel the full impact. Don’t be afraid to let the full force take you over and take you in. Don’t be afraid to let it change you and lead you to the place and the person you’re supposed to be.