Reality Check

May 19, 2008

After a couple of days of deep thought followed by two Nu-Way hotdogs, I’ve concluded that it may be existentially suspect to dwell overmuch about natural disasters. Nonetheless, we had one here in Middle Georgia one week ago, when multiple tornadoes touched down. I do not intend to trivialize Macon’s disruptive episode, but it is worth mentioning that simultaneously, there were earthquakes in China, the aftermath of a hurricane in Burma, a volcano erupting somewhere in South America and an overturned chicken truck on I-16.

The world is pretty much a mess and we got to see it firsthand. Experiencing a natural disaster “in real life” is much different than the momentary sympathetic impulse we feel after seeing the story on network news. Even if the wreckage doesn’t affect us personally, it’s still very tangible and a little scary when it happens all around you.

Macon State Damage
The image above, filched from the website of The Macon Telegraph, shows the campus of Macon State College. (For more images, see Storm Photos on ). Nearly 90% of the trees on campus were destroyed. According to news reports, up to 40% of the forest canopy in Middle Georgia was destroyed or damaged. Not good.

Unlike Burma and China, the cleanup effort in Macon happened very quickly. Georgia Power, with lots of help from other Southern Company utilities, got power up and running almost everywhere within 3 days. Volunteers showed up with chainsaws. Streets were made passable. Stores opened back up. Even Macon State College was open for business again on Thursday, a short four days after the storm.

Human tenacity, especially in the face of disaster, is remarkable; but I wonder if God doesn’t see it somewhat like the efforts of ants repairing the after effects of Mikey’s bright red Converse hightops. It’s all very serious and real to us, but only a little piece of the plan to Him. Perhaps we should consider that perspective and wonder just exactly what it is that we should learn. Could it be that all of our activity, all of our “accomplishments,” and all that we take so seriously really doesn’t have that much significance in the grand scheme of things?

Time to rethink the priorities. Time for a reality check.