Most of you know I was born and raised in Southern California, and I have lived in the Inland Empire for most of my life. I have experienced earthquakes, wildfires, water shortages, and air pollution. This past weekend I experienced something terribly new and scary, winds so strong that a massive tree landed on our house, very near where my husband and I were sleeping. But by the grace of God, the tree did not come into the house, but it has left a path of devastation and debris on our property. We were not the only home in our subdivision that was affected but we were the home that had the most damage. Much of our beloved city of Upland had uprooted trees, damaged vehicles, rubble, and wreckage. A massive cleanup is underway, as we wait not so patiently for a crew with lots of chainsaws to remove an unwanted, unexpected, and uninvited guest currently residing in our backyard.
We often see on the news the devastation that touches others due to a hurricane, tornado, or some other act of nature, but it hits you quite differently when it hits you personally. It is like when your neighbor loses his/her job it is a recession but when you lose your job it is a depression. Whenever we go through something catastrophic or disastrous there are always lessons to be learned and blessings to be counted. Despite the damage and the terrible thoughts of what could have happened, the fact is, the Lord kept us from any personal hurt, harm, or danger. In a situation like this, it is very easy to ask, “why me.” The proper way of looking at any adversity is not to focus on what happened, but rather what are you going to do with what happened. In life we always have choices. My husband and I decided to count our blessings and focus on fixing the problem, rather than trying to fix the blame. We will not allow this to make us bitter but rather to make us better. My grandmother taught me very early in my life that we should never question God’s will, his way, or his word. She would say, “Wendy, if God brought you to it, he will bring you through it.” We are blessed to worship such a big and wonderful God.
These unusually strong Santa Ana winds made me start thinking more seriously about climate change. Is what we are experiencing a byproduct of how we are treating our environment and changing the climate globally? The truth is, we as human beings are causing climate change. Our activities contribute to climate change by causing a change in temperature, rainfall, winds, and other signals. Our use of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas to power cars, machines, and generate electricity leads to higher CO2 emissions. Climate change affects every human, animal, and nation on this planet. We cannot continue to mess with Mother Nature.
To ensure we are going to be part of the solution and not part of the problem when it comes to messing with Mother Nature here are some things, we all can do: reduce, reuse, and recycle, use less water, carpool, use less packaging, eat smarter, have a plant-based diet, cut back on paper usage, use reusable bags, use energy-efficient light bulbs instead of regular bulbs and wear reusable masks. Our existence depends upon us saving our planet and its environment because it provides us food and water so we can live. It is all of our responsibility to take care of it.
Healing Without Hate: It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on.
Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker.