As I write this post, Hurricane Florence is bearing down on North Carolina. It’s been a strange hurricane by all accounts. It has defied the odds of even coming ashore at all, based on the position it began in. It has weakened and then strengthened and was even predicted to strengthen to a record-breaking status, before once again weakening. It has literally danced up and down the East Coast and the focus of the eye has changed repeatedly.
Forecasters are reluctantly admitting that this particular hurricane is just dependent on too many variables to predict much of anything with much certainty.
I had some friends that once had to evacuate their homes on the coast of Georgia, for a hurricane with just a few hours notice. I remember the wife telling me that she looked around her home and asked herself, what they needed to try to save. It would have to fit in their car.
She said she chose their photo albums and their home computer, which was also their office computer. Once they got their child, some clothes and their dog in the car, there was very little space for anything else.
The hurricane shifted and missed them, but I have always remembered what she told me about leaving at a moment’s notice.
Those of us who are blessed enough to live in the modern western world, have all kinds of conveniences and lots of predictability. We usually know what weather is coming, a week or more in advance. We know what the traffic will be like before we even leave the house in the morning. We have a constant flow of answers to our questions at our fingertips. We have retirement plans and health insurance. We are planners and we are prepared.
But, sometimes life throws us curve balls that we couldn’t have possibly anticipated, no matter the amount of planning we engaged in. Sometimes tragedies like sickness, or a divorce, or job loss, or even a death can strike.
It’s not a matter of if, but of when. And when the storm comes, how can we prepare? If we walk in faith, we know that we never walk alone. We know that Jesus holds our hand, no matter the tragedy or the outcome and that foundation can never be destroyed. If we strive to put our family and friendships ahead of our material things, we have that protection as well.
Hurricane Florence has reminded me that life here on this side of Eternity will always be unpredictable. As we pause to pray for the safety of those in her wake, may we remember that the most important things in life are not things.
Have an awesome day!