Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stay Awake!

The command that begins today's gospel.
The recent earthquake in Virginia got the attention of all of us on the east coast. It also took me back to 1977 when I first went to Managua Nicaragua. In 1972 a huge earthquake had destroyed the city. Five thousand were killed and approximately 250,000 were displaced.

Five years later the emotional impact was still clear. The earthquake had left the people even the teenagers profoundly aware of the fragility of life. What I found interesting was that it was not a morbid awareness, but an awareness that called to one's attention to live every day as if it might me the last one.

The real question for us is: Why does it take an earthquake, or a hurricane or a terrorist attack? Jesus gives us a very simple straightforward command in the gospel. Christians are to be people who maintain the proper perspective constantly aware that we know neither the day nor the hour, not to fill us with fear, but mindfulness.

It seems for the last few months we've been running around like chicken little. Perhaps we needed a little earthquake to shake some sense into us and get us to sit down, center our heart in God and work through these things one day at a time.