Sunday, November 06, 2011

A storm in October

Wow! A snow storm in October! A big one! And suddenly we were all in the dark and in the cold. Our fridges, those cold boxes we use for long-term storage of perishable food became useless smelly boxes. That held perishable food while they perished. Some of us could not even get hot water for basic stuff such as personal hygiene.

In a matter of a few hours most of us were set back about 200 years, and without the resources or the knowledge that those who actually lived 200 years ago had to survive.

How fragile are we? How dependent are we on something that wasn't even available for the common citizen in the 1800s? And how much do we take for granted and just assume everything will always be ok?

There is absolutely no guarantee that everything will always be ok. In fact, chances are much greater that everything will not always be ok.

How do you view this past week's events?
As a quick nuisance that should be taken care of as soon as possible by the people in charge? Or as a learning experience?

Did you take it as a test of how prepared you are to survive in case of a major and long term disaster? Did you try to think back and evaluate how you could make it better next time? Maybe you should learn a little bit about life without modern day comfort, not just for making yourself a more well rounded human being, but to make sure you can survive?

Did you take it as a way of realizing how frail human life is? How in the blink of an eye life as we know could be over? How everything we have today that makes you feel so powerful is actually hanging by a very thin thread? Electricity was gone for but a week, and we felt so powerless. Many of us could not keep ourselves warm, or cook food, or even keeping food from going bad!!! We can do all these things and we think we have all the power. All the power could be gone just like that. And then, what would happen to all-powerful 21st century human race?

Did you take it as a way of realizing how much thankful we should be for all we have? If you had a hard time dealing with basic everyday stuff that is essential for survival, shouldn't you be grateful for the things that make dealing with all of life's simple tasks such an easy thing to do that you don't even think about it? Think of how you and I grew up in a world where we simply flip a light switch, push a microwave button, plug a TV or charger into the wall, talk to someone who lives far away in real-time over a small speaking device, some times we can even see their faces as they talk to us!!!! (Skype and the-likes) Did you think how grateful you should be, because there is actually a possible reality in which none of these things are possible? It's a reality that is closer to us than what we think! Did you think that in parts of the world, so many people live without some of the things we thought it was so hard to live without? How grateful are you for these things we take for granted?

Did you think of it as a way of checking how much you can do with your family without TV, video-entertainment and internet? Which one of us, living today has grown up in a world without one or the other? I grew up in Brazil, so I did not have internet for most of my teenage life. But very few of us might have actually known a world without TV. And those who did will hardly remember the times that came before that. Don't we often complain how often those things get in the way of family quality time? Did you take advantage of the lack of those things to try to do something together? Like talking, for instance!

Finally, did you take it as a way of seeing God in all things? How He is sovereign and he could make it all go away just like that? How He kept you safe and allowed you means to survive? How He is the one who actually allowed all these modern-day wonders to be available to us? And how He make nature so perfect! The trees shed in the fall when every time the snow comes in the winter, we don't have total chaos like the one we did. God made everything well thought out. And while I won't try to explain why He allows tragedies like these to happen (even though I can think of a number of reasons that are Biblical and sound) I will just say that I know He is in control, and nothing happened without His permission. Just as He had Pharaoh's heart in his had, He also has nature in His hand. Did you think this week could be a way of thinking about God?

Wow! Looking at it this way, this storm aftermath was actually not as bad as we thought!

I hope you think of any of those things I've thought of. Or think of all of them. Think about something else I have not thought of. Just, please, don't think of it as a quick nuisance to be left behind. It was anything but a quick nuisance.