“Modern meteorology can tell us a lot about what can cause a hurricane to move in a certain direction: wind speed and direction, water temperature, air temperature, etc. While we may know what most hurricanes will do most of the time, we are still unable to say with 100% certainty what one specific hurricane will do in one specific instance; however we may be able to explain why it moved in the direction it did after the fact. On the other hand, we know enough about ice cubes and temperature to know with 100% certainty that if a given ice cube is placed on a Manhattan sidewalk in the middle of July, it will melt. Problems with prediction happen when we confuse things that are like hurricanes for things that are like ice cubes.”
Most of life’s troubles seem like unpredictable hurricanes, not like ice cubes. They’re cuts in pay, loss of a job, the unfaithfulness of a spouse, the death of a parent, the unplanned trip to the E.R., or even a life-threatening illness. When people are involved, I think it’s usually a hurricane!
Other changes we can see coming. In “Change Mazes,” author Tom Lutz says, “Remember Kodak film for our cameras? Now 80% of Kodak’s revenue comes from digital products. Kodak smartly navigated a change maze…Kodak could see the changes coming.” Kodak looked at where technology was going and saw an ice cube. I often ask a troubled couple, “If the relationship continues to go in the direction it’s going, what will happen?” Usually, the couple answers immediately. I don’t have to play the heavy and tell them where they’re headed. They can see the ice cube.
Even Dr. Normal Vincent Peale struggled with depression and a low self-image. He was the author of “The Power of Positive Thinking,” one of the bestselling books of all time. Life is full of uncertainties and we all have to grapple with them.
If we can see a change coming, how do we know if it’s a hurricane or an ice cube? Here’s a good suggestion by Lutz: “We cope with change better if we separate facts from emotions and if we let our spirits lead our responses to change: Your response to change can be spearheaded by your heart, your mind, or your soul. If you let God inhabit your soul, the dominance of the Lord in your life can lead you to cope with the facts and emotions of a change more effectively.” When we’re in doubt if something is an ice cube or a hurricane, following this advice will usually help us to tell the difference. Also, to cope with either in such a way that promotes self-growth involves continual separation of fact from emotions, learning, letting yourself be imperfect, lightening up on yourself, refusing to let your emotions take you down (“you are not your emotions”), and looking to God for all you need, which He promises to provide in His timing.
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you: But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:12-13).
The idea for this post came from this website that is quoted above: