13 Sep Back to Normal
Disaster averted…things can get back to normal. The last few days have been extraordinary to the extreme. What a convergence of events we just had! With Texas still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, the Southeast got blasted with our own reminder of how insignificant our plans and property are in the grand scheme of things. In the midst of the storm, we paused to remember 9/11 and the scar left from that substantial reminder. We’ve prayed about those events, and we will pray some more.
We prayed at Shoreline on Sunday for many things, including safety, guidance, and deliverance. People throughout the South prayed and hoped. We wanted to be spared from any taste of Hurricane Irma, but we don’t always get what we want.
We did get some answers to what we asked for regarding Hurricane Irma. I am NOT taking credit, but we asked that God would weaken that storm. We asked God to protect life and property. There were lives lost, and property was certainly damaged. But…it could have been so much worse.
I always wonder when storms like Matthew, Harvey, and Irma come through what it must have been like for the people who experienced adverse weather without the warnings we get. I have never forgotten the story of a hurricane in Galveston, TX in 1900. Galveston was the 4th largest city in Texas as 6,000 – 8,000 people (of a town with 38,000 residents) were killed when the hurricane came ashore devastating the unprepared vacationers and residents. Scientists said a storm was coming, but people ignored those warnings. Back then, science was such that ordinary people thought their warning was just an educated guess. 2/3 of the city was destroyed.
What a blessing it is to have advanced warning. Sure, there were people who stayed at home during the mandatory evacuation. Famous people like golfer Greg Norman, and ordinary people like you and me didn’t listen. But think about all of the people who did heed the warnings and how many people were spared. Life is precious…and has such a greater value than possessions.
When disasters befall us, it reminds us how little control we actually have. 9/11. Harvey. Irma. These are horrible events that we are protected from on a normal basis. When they come for us, we cannot stop them, but we can control our reaction.
Many of us were scared and stressed over these last few days. We were forced to ask ourselves some tough questions about priorities and the value of our treasures. Where have we been putting our focus, and where should it be? As things get back to normal, maybe they shouldn’t.
The survivors in Galveston (that didn’t move away) probably never looked at the Gulf of Mexico the same way. Even as science improved, and warnings got more certain, they probably still struggled with the reality that they were helpless. No matter how much money they had or property they owned, it could all be gone in the blink of an eye.
That reality is still true for us today. So, how do we respond to that? It’s easy to retreat to our castles and pull up the drawbridges instead of investing in relationships with our neighbors and others. We could certainly continue shopping and consuming like there is no tomorrow instead of providing for others and building up our communities. Sure, we could do that. We could get back to normal…but…maybe we shouldn’t.
Blessings to you,