Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Where were you when . . .

I found myself saying it today . . .
"so where were you when the earthquake hit?"

I felt so stupid saying it - because it was really a non-event.  I sat in the back seat of a Ford Ranger Pickup Truck while it happened.  We were stopped at a stoplight and I was on the phone.  I thought that maybe the guys in the front seat were rocking the car for some reason so I quickly dismissed it.  It was only until my wife called and told me what happened that I stitched it all together.  It was like waking up and recalling a dream - I DID feel the shaking.  Weird.

What is really strange is the perspective that is so warped.  I am in a car at a stoplight on my phone thinking that my world is governed by such things as phone calls, traffic and to-do lists.  Meanwhile several million tons of solid rock grinds against itself miles underneath the surface of the earth.  One event that is considered feeble by West Coast standards is felt from DC to Maine.  So what is the real 'reality?'  What forces really control our lives?

It reminds me that we are not as god-like as we might think.  We are (literally) ants that scurry around on rather large rocks that float over a sea of lava.  Moreso, we are little creatures that have a beginning and an end and if today was our last there isn't a thing we could do about it.

Usually it is this kind of thinking that pushes you toward a belief or away from one.  Those who get pushed away get a glimpse of the meaninglessness of it all.  They conclude that the earth shrugs its shoulders from time to time  - the natural world is a collection of great blessing and great devastation - there is no rhyme or reason.

For me, it pushes me toward belief . . . the bigger the scale, the more it impresses me that we can't possibly have the mind of God.  Huge rocks, scalding lava - all of it the product of things far greater than I can imagine.

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