I wonder how old the person was who said, "That which doesn't kill me only makes me stronger." I wish I saw it that way but I don't. I'm afraid I take more of the Demotivator approach, so much so that my wife actually bought me this poster for my office. I guess she listened to one too many monologues about writer's block.
I talked a couple days ago about my admiration for a friend giving thanks for her past and what she's learned from it and the role it had in shaping her and bringing her to her present place in life and how I envy that. There has to be a tremendous sense of inner peace that comes from being able to pull back and put things into that kind of perspective.
I wish I had the emotional maturity to look upon the challenges of life as an opportunity to grow and strengthen myself, that I could embrace the process. I'd love to be one of those steady hands in the time of crisis, displaying resolve and stability.
For the past few weeks, I've been listening repeatedly to Switchfoot's wonderful new record. In an impressive display of spontaneity and impulsiveness, I went and saw them in concert in Nashville. They opened the show by playing the new album in its entirety, and throughout the course of the Hello Hurricane set, Jon Foreman discussed some of the prominent themes.
Before the band played the title track, he said in their mind the album is sequenced such that there are three sections to it: I can see the storm coming, I'm in the storm, dealing with the storm's aftermath. The title track, he said, is roughly the spot where you flip the record over and you're now in the eye of the storm.
"Hello Hurricane" is one of the album's highlights, musically and thematically. It's also the place in the sequence of events I find myself most interested. In the song, the narrator who finds himself in the eye of the storm is welcoming it and defying it. He greets it: "Hello hurricane, you're not enough/ Hello, hurricane, you can't silence my love." As we get into the second verse, we learn this is not silly posturing, bravado, or naiveté. The narrator understands everything could be lost when the fury of the storm comes ashore but refuses to yield to it.
That kind of courage and confidence is appealing and inspiring and some days it almost feels within my grasp. I understand it. I've seen it up close and from a distance. I've even had rare moments when I felt something like it, even if it was just for a few moments. I'm thankful for those moments. I'm thankful for the reminder in this song that they're there and they're possible and I'm thankful for all the people who possess those gifts not just for the gifts themselves but also for the reminders they provide.