My memories of today (Thursday May 19) will forever be accompanied by the Mission Impossible theme song. If the term “epic” wasn’t grossly overused by my generation, I would apply it here. Okay, I am applying it here, and rightfully so, I believe.
We began the day with a quick weather and chase strategy briefing in a central Kansas hotel room. After breakfast, we embarked on a truly invigorating mission. The outlook for severe weather looked great with high dew points and CAPE values (google it :)), so we were hopeful and energized.
We stopped through Greensburg, KS, where an F5 tornado rolled through in 2007. We had studied this tornado in class a few weeks ago, so it was enlightening to be where it happened. A resident named Ruth Ann told us her story and showed photos of the before and after – a humbling reminder of the devastating power behind these phenomena.
And then it was time for “chase mode.”
The diversified musical stylings of Mr. Carey’s iPod were replaced by radio
updates and radar readings as the skies turned dark.
The “chase mode” process is basically drive, stop, get out, stare at the sky, take photos, get back in the van, drive faster, stop, stare at the sky, get back in the van, turn around and drive the the other direction, stop, stare at the sky, and repeat. That’s basically what we did all day. And it was awesome.
We didn’t see any tornadoes, but we did see some fantastic wall cloud formations and a truly spectacular storm at sunset. The lightning show at the end was perhaps the most breathtaking. I was thinking of Job 38:35, which says, “Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go
and say to you, ‘Here we are’?”
The same God who directs each lightning bolt where to go with the utmost attention is the same God who captivates my attention on a daily basis. What other response could I have to this remarkably, incomprehensibly powerful God than, “here I am”?
Post script: This mission has been powered by cheez-it’s, donuts, M&Ms and Easy Cheese. Adventure food is the best (worst).