By now, just about everyone knows we had an earthquake here in my area yesterday. Growing up in California, I knew what was happening, but it was hard to believe it.
The 5.8 quake’s epicenter was about 150 miles from where I live, and it was felt all the way up into Canada.
At first, I thought it had to be something that happened in my community, since there were no reports on the radio or television for several minutes. Once they began reporting, everyone knew. Wow. Luckily, no one we killed, and it looks like the damage is minimal.Later in the afternoon, someone asked me to lock up our church. As I walked around inside, I found a woman and her grandson praying. When they saw me, they got up to leave, and I walked them to the door.
The woman asked about the earthquake. “Do you think it’s a sign that the end of the world is coming?” Right about now, there’s a lot of people looking around for “signs.”
As I walked with her, I told her something I heard several years ago. Sometime leading up to the year 2000, a person asked Pope John Paul II when he thought the end of the world would come. “For some, today is the end of the world.” In other words, there are people who got up today who will not live to see another sunrise.
I’m not sure the lady liked my response, but I think Pope John Paul’s words have great meaning. We just don’t know when our time is going to be up. With that in mind, how we live our lives, day in and day out, is of great significance.
If we are striving to live holy, virtuous lives, and we keep ourselves right with God, then we have nothing to fear.
Naturally occurring events like the earthquake that shook the East Coast yesterday should be a reminder to each of us that God is so much bigger than us, and yet he knows each of our names. We are all alive today, able to see another sunrise (it was beautiful here in Maryland today). We have another chance to make things right.
Seek forgiveness where we need to, show mercy where we can, sow seeds of hope and love wherever we are able, and be right with God. All will be well.