I was waiting in the airport when the alarm sounded in our terminal. Many of us sat in our rows and continued what we were doing. After all, no emergency or airport personnel seemed on high alert. No one gave us instructions. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Someone commented how odd it was that none of us were moving. But where would we go if we didn’t know the source of the emergency? We were close to several external exit options, even if some options would have required a short jump.
The alarm stopped and was followed by an announcement: “We’re investigating the reason for the alarm. We’ll keep you updated.”
There was no update before the alarm sounded again. Followed by the “we’re investigating but have no clue” announcement. (About an hour later, another announcement let us know the investigation revealed it was a false alarm.)
I think everyone would have responded with anyone’s directions. People weren’t sitting still in an adamant, disrespectful way. They simply didn’t panic. Maybe that’s not a bad thing.
When we encounter alarming things in our lives, we can take a deep breath and assess the situation, then discern an appropriate reaction. Sometimes we need to run. Sometimes we need to help others. Sometimes we need to pay attention to instructions even though our instincts might prompt us in another direction.
Alarms don’t have to prompt panic in us. We can pay attention without falling apart.
I know a lot of people do life without God and feel as if their peace is something they control. In my experience, it’s what we yield. Peace isn’t something we control but something we make space for, something we humble ourselves into. And regardless of what is going on around us, we can always trust God to guide and provide through the alarms and peace.