Along Life's Road

Take all things to God, in prayer

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. – Mark 4:39

Some years ago, while visiting my sister in Michigan (Southfield), I picked up the business section of the Detroit News. In bold letters the headline read, “An Island of Calm in Banking’s Storm.” Years after, even as I write, the “storm” in the banking world, still exists and the financial world is “breathing in gasps!” Not only that, globally there are so many “storms” causing panic and concern. It is the “storm” of healthcare, high prices on food, clothing and necessities, fuel, education, housing, child care, electricity, water and gas. Wow!

In the article written by Lynn Waldsmith, she asks Verne Istock, chairman, president and chief executive of First Chicago NDB Corp., if there is any truth to the rumor that First Chicago NBD is “dog-paddling’ while the rest of the banking industry is riding a frenzied wave of mergers. From the photograph that appears with the article, a very pleasant, confident, and approachable looking Verne Istock defends his bank’s “steady as she goes” strategy of leveraging its existing lines of business. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Just remember the tortoise and the hare. We have nothing to be ashamed of with regard to the momentum in earnings. We’ve exercised discipline in our acquisition strategy and we will continue to exercise discipline. If the prices of banks are inappropriate, then our primary focus will be on what we already are doing and what we do well; and if that’s dog-paddling, that’s dog-paddling.”

Even though Mr. Istock has been criticized in banking circles, and rumors abound about the sale of his corporation, First Chicago NBD waited patiently for the big merger play, and exhibited an attitude of peace in the midst of a storm.

Concluding, the article reads “I’ve lots of critics,” he said with a laugh. “I am very concerned with the prices in today’s consolidated movement. We are only going to consider acquisitions where it makes sense for the shareholders. You cannot ignore the business, you’ve just got to go out and make acquisitions,” he said. “You better be performing in what you already have and not get so caught up in the merger game that you don’t pay attention to home.” Powerful for then, now, and the future!

With the story of the storm on the lake as in our text today, is a lesson in life. There is not a single person in this world who has not, is going through, or will be going through a storm – be it financial, health, relationship, sibling or children, or whatever that causes the soul to worry or fret.

Jesus rebuked the winds and waves by just saying “Peace be still.” He was sound asleep when the storm bore down on the ship, and his disciples came to him and blamed him for not caring if they perished. Wow!

How many times we are blamed for situations that cause pain and grief and are as foreign to it as kitty is to what day it is. Strange and absurd, but be assured that whatever is the hindrance in your succeeding, don’t blame anyone, just take the matter to God in prayer, for only he and he alone has the power to change the situation. Don’t panic!

If the storm is at home, church, school, workplace, the state of the nation, your wealth, your health, your lifestyle, your personality, your friends or your family, your spouse or your children, your calm is on the way. just trust and obey his word. Peace.

• E-mail or Write to P.O. Box, 19725 SS Nassau, Bahamas, with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God’s blessings.  

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