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Generator Living

The winds blew, the rain came, the lights went out.  Over 3.5 million folks accustomed to lights and action came to a screeching halt as Hurricane Ike blasted his way from Galveston up I45.  It was sobering walking the neighborhood, seeing giant trees upturned with grass surrounding their dangling roots like green pizzas. Suddenly the roar of gas powered generators breaks the usual serenity of the early morning and lines snake around parking lots waiting for gas to power their hungry bellies.


The winds blew, the rain came, the lights went out.  Over 3.5 million folks accustomed to lights and action came to a screeching halt as Hurricane Ike blasted his way from Galveston up I45.  It was sobering walking the neighborhood, seeing giant trees upturned with grass surrounding their dangling roots like green pizzas. Suddenly the roar of gas powered generators breaks the usual serenity of the early morning and lines snake around parking lots waiting for gas to power their hungry bellies.

It was bad: one woman sleeping peacefully at 5:30 AM fell victim to a huge tree that crushed through her roof and took her life.  Checking out the storm from across the house her husband escaped a similar fate. 

It was good: neighbors who usually compartmentalize ourselves with automatic garage doors and air conditioning labored together in cleanup and tree removal. Conversation and camaraderie flourished.   The tantalizing fragrance of sizzling bar-b-que whetted appetites as freezers emptied, their contents grilled and shared. Community developed.

But living without power for a week, with all accompanying frustrations, reminds me just how dependent I am upon power for everyday tasks.  I forget that easily.  Jesus commanded His disciples not toleave Jerusalem “until you are endued with power from on high.” 

I wonder if I truly understand just how dependent I am upon His power for everyday living? Do I really believe I can accomplish God’s work without God’s power?  A gasoline generator provides a limited supply of energy to keep a refrigerator working but it pales in comparison to full power. Am I living a “generator” life with God, failing to abide in complete dependence upon the Spirit, I shouldn’t be surprised then if I accomplish nothing!

Gwynne Johnson

Gwynne Johnson currently serves on the Board of Entrust, Inc., an international education and training mission where she authored the Entrust curriculum, Developing a Discerning Heart. She recently served as Co-Chair of the training project, Christian Women in Partnership, Russia and as Senior Director of Women's Ministry at Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. Gwynne has a M.A. in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. She currently lives in Huntsville, Texas with her husband of 58 years, Don. She works part-time in her daughter and granddaughter's bakery "The Best Box Ever," where she gets paid in cookies.

3 Comments

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    Heather A. Goodman

    I hope Humpty-Dumpty gets

    I hope Humpty-Dumpty gets put back together soon.

    Things like this also give us a picture of both the worst and the best of humanity.

  • Avatar

    De Love

    A wake up call
    Ike was a wake up call, a reminder of how spoiled I am with all our creature comforts, and how I take everything for granted and live in my own safe little world.

    Ike did force us out into the community with neighbor helping neighbor, a taste of what we can be and should be for one another. Air conditioning and TV is good and I wouldn’t want to live without it but it does keep us from reaching out; these last 2 weeks have really proven that to be true.

    Thanks for the generator vs. real power lesson, Gwynne. A reminder to check my power source every day .