Last week I was sitting in the middle of another strategic planning meeting that seemed to be dragging on a little too long. It was one of those meetings where little topics of discussion took center stage and we had to bring conversations back on track. It’s horrible I know, but I am so A-D-D at times that I find myself wondering who the last person was to play me on Words With Friends, or what Twitter had to say about the latest cycling race. Somewhere between saying my five words of wisdom to the table, and checking the day’s stock decline on my iPhone, the lights went out.

The building went dark and the 100 degree heat began to seep in through the precast walls. The heat which was not typical for San Diego was blamed for the loss of power. We all figured that our AC was on too high, or that someone’s poor internet surfing habits in the building had finally done us in.

After another ½ hour of sitting in the dim room, our group decided that we had solved enough problems for the day, and it was time to go home. As I climbed in my car and began to drive to my next engagement, I realized that everyone else in San Diego decided to end their day early as well. Every car parked in any driveway or lot in the County was now in front of me on the road. Gridlock!

Come to find out, the entire County of San Diego was out of power. Some construction worker in Arizona cut the red wire instead of the black wire and shut down all the County. At least that’s what they told the public. Only a handful of radio stations worked and all we could get were bits and pieces of information. All I knew is that there were a ton of people standing between me and my drive home.

I finally made it home where my wife had candles lit up. We sat together, made peanut butter and jelly for dinner, and had a beer. I heard people around the neighborhood laughing and talking, and playing with their children in the front lawns. Julie and I geared up and went for a night bike ride to see the city in blackness. We rode out onto the OB pier and looked back at the city. Waves crashed beneath our feet shaking the wooden structure. We could smell the salty water as we looked up at the star filled sky. I’ve never seen stars that bright in the city. We hugged each other.

Riding back to our house, we saw the same story over and over. People playing in their front lawns. Neighbors meeting neighbors. Laughter and simple beauty.

While the power came back on in the middle of the night that night, I laid in bed thinking how beautiful it all was. No TV, no radio, no distractions. People finally cared about other people. We broke out of our routines just for a small moment in time simply to enjoy the moment. What a beautiful thing.

It is in these moments that God exists.

Turn off the electricity. Feel His Love and share His beauty.

Exodus 9:29
Moses replied, “When I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands in prayer to the LORD. The thunder will stop and there will be no more hail, so you may know that the earth is the LORD’s.