October 21, 2015 Ponder
Experts tell us that the Pacific Northwest is a candidate for a major earthquake. They have studied the patterns and cycles of previous earthquakes and say that we are past the time for the next one to occur. In recent weeks, area schoolchildren have practiced “earthquake drills.”
The media has given considerable time to telling us how to prepare at home by stockpiling food and water along with other emergency items. With the potential of power failure and interruption of the water supply, they suggest that everyone should have several days of basic survival supplies on hand.
I read and listened to these warnings and admitted to myself that I have made little, if any, preparation for a potential natural disaster. Even worse, the supplies I accumulated some years ago for a possible ice storm have all expired and been discarded. As of now, the only thing I have is a note on my to-do list that says “emergency supplies.”
I attribute some of my negligence to the fact that several times each day I drive by a shopping center a mile from our home. I can walk to it from home or from where I work. The store has everything I need, so why duplicate the items at home? Of course, in the event of an earthquake, the store will most likely not be open for business. It could be filled with supplies but not be accessible.
Pondering all of this has been useful for me in better understanding how people can hear the message of the Gospel but fail to respond to it. When life is going well today, it is easy to assume it will also be well tomorrow. There is a tendency to be satisfied that “someday I will take care of that.” The problem is obvious – “someday” might be sooner than we anticipate, perhaps even today.
There is no comparison between being prepared to meet God and being as ready as possible for a natural disaster. But it is good for me to be reminded of how easy it is to hear but not respond to a warning. In principle, that is what a person does when they hear the Story of Jesus but fail to trust Him for Salvation. Neglect is easy when there appears to be no urgent need to respond.
So I will collect some emergency supplies – hopefully before someone has the opportunity to ask me about it. More important is the reminder to me to be patient with people who hear but do not respond – and to keep telling the Story, believing that eventually they will.
Pastor Bill Ehmann