“You need to leave — not tonight, not in an hour, right now. This is the most catastrophic storm the state has ever seen.” ~ Florida Governor Rick Scott
Catastrophes are a state of our lives. Today, as we await even more news about the effects of Hurricane Irma, our minds are also drawn back to another September 11th in which our world appeared to upend. In a horrible set of catastrophes, our country endured terrorist attacks that caused devastation and death on a level that was unimaginable.
In the midst of that chaos, there was also a lot of bravery. Rescuers went into the heart of the disasters to save as many lives as possible and, later, to find and recover as many bodies as possible so that families could begin the long process of healing.
In the face of catastrophe, some people freeze. They do not know what to do. They lack the guidance and direction that they need to save themselves. Florida Governor Rick Scott was very clear Saturday night in his statement to his people: Get Out! Many governors have given their people that same message in these times. Some have even gone so far as to tell those who were refusing to evacuate to mark their leg in permanent magic marker with their name and social security number so that, when their bodies were found, they would be able to identify them. Even with that kind of warning, some people refuse to leave. They remain to endure the full force of the disaster.
Why do some people do that? Many would say that it was because they felt that they had no where else to go. They remained in their home because that home was a source of shelter, comfort, and memories for them. They did not want to abandon it for fear of losing it completely. They would rather be destroyed along with their home.
There is a deep longing for home. We all ask ourselves, at one point or another in our lives, “Where am I going?” If we think real hard about that, we would say that, ultimately, we are going home to our God at the end of our days. Yet, while we are still here on earth, we look for the creature comforts by which we live our lives and ground ourselves. When those senses of security are threatened, we do not want to leave them. We want to cling to our earthly treasure because it, at least, is tangible.
Yet, a heavenly treasure awaits us all. God will never fail us in that final leap as long as we keep our eyes fixed on Him. When times get tough, fight the human inclination to dig in and count on yourself. Instead, remember that God has a plan for you. It might not be the same plan that you have. It might be something radically different. Trust in Him. God knows what He is doing.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for all people who are looking for safety in their lives. Ask God to give them the grace they need to abandon themselves completely into His hands.