Have an Uncomfortable Summer
Summer is a great time for a family adventure! As you and your family experience the adventure that will be remembered as the summer of 2016, we encourage you to step out of your comfort zone. Your family may never be the same.
We do not mean simply turn down your air conditioner and let the summer heat turn your home into a sauna. No, we mean to intentionally put yourselves in a situation that may make you sweat, not from the heat, but from the excitement that comes from doing something extraordinary. Our family knows that learning and improvement happen best when you are out of your comfort zone.
One of the many “uncomfortable” situations our family participates in is storm chasing. We chase storms, mostly tornadoes, with our team, StormWarriors™. We believe it’s important to help rescue families before they know they need to be rescued, both physically and spiritually.
By being in the wrong place at the right time, we warn communities about impending storms and then initiate search and rescue efforts when homes or communities are affected. Afterward we engage in restoring communities by ministering to families in several ways: feeding them, cleaning up with them, and rebuilding alongside them with other volunteers.
On one of these chases, two of my sons and I were following a supercell developing severe conditions. Suddenly, we found ourselves on the wrong side of the storm when it took an unexpected turn. While we were repositioning to get back to the safe side, we experienced large hail, slippery, muddy roads, and torrential rains. Once out of danger I noticed my fingers were still white-knuckled as I gripped the steering wheel, and my heart was pounding. I asked myself, “Why do we do this?”
For the last twenty minutes, as I’d prayed for our team’s safety and tried to keep the car out of a ditch, I hadn’t been enjoying myself. The potential danger had taken the boys and me out of our comfort zones.
As we recovered and continued to follow this storm, we witnessed a magnificent tornado on the plains of New Mexico, where no one could get hurt. As the tornado retreated back into the storm, we began to find our way to the main road only to get caught by a rushing river that flooded the road where our car had just passed. As we waited for the water to subside, we saw a beautiful, full rainbow. That’s when it hit me: we were called to do this.
Chasing tornadoes and helping others in their aftermath aren’t things our family just went out and started doing a few days ago. We’ve been studying and tracking storms for years, and we know it’s not for everyone, but it is for us. We’ve saved lives by warning communities of approaching storms through the National Weather Service, local media, or just driving along small town streets with our windows down, honking the horn and yelling, “Take cover! There’s a tornado heading this way!” Indeed, we were made for this.
It’s at the moment of danger and warning that we become fully alive. Then, as the danger passes, we lift families out of the rubble and help them begin to rebuild their lives. It’s not comfortable to witness heartbroken men, women, and children who have just lost everything they held dear. It’s not comfortable to drive for hours, eat junk food, and return in the wee hours of the morning, but God has called us to step out, and we know it.
You don’t have to go out and chase extreme weather with your family to get uncomfortable. For some, it may be just taking a long lunch, joining your preschooler at ‘Zoo School’ and roaring like a lion on all fours. But, until you take that first step out of your comfort zone, you will never experience the adventurous family life God has for you. So, as you face this summer and wonder how to spend some time with your family, ask the Lord to show you an adventure that will take you into the destiny He has always intended for you. Be prepared to get a little uncomfortable.