Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wake Up Calls

Like a siren before a tornado, a smoke alarm before a fire, natural disasters could be wake-up calls before something even more serious. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan that caused a potentially apocalyptic event at their nuclear facilities should get us to thinking that the end of everything is a reality. This is not meant to sound like the crazy guy on the street corner carrying a cardboard sign warning that the end of the world is near. But, maybe these tragedies are sending us the same messages and should get us thinking about heaven and hell, the destinations determined by our moral behavior. Despite the warm and fuzzy presumptions that I read in daily obituaries, when we die we are not guaranteed that we will be “in the arms of our dear Lord ”. Based on my observations, heaven won’t be too crowded, but hell will be packed to overflowing. Why weather as a means to warn about the end? Well, weather is not man made-excuse me, human-made. Who, then? Evolutionists say it “happens”. Ridiculous. Every effect has a cause. As Saint Thomas Aquinas, the brilliant Catholic theologian of the 13th century, argued in his “Summa Theologica”, there must eventually be a First Cause which is not the effect of anything. “Creationists”, the presumably affectionate term for Christians, believe weather is caused by God. It’s easy to see God in the soft, white fluffy clouds, the warm sun, the fresh rains, the gentle breezes. But, many also see Him in just everyday crappy weather the likes of which we’ve been having around here lately. But, why would God cause bad weather? Theories abound. I have always felt, after witnessing how we come together after tragedies, seeing compassion follow chaos, that these disasters were “blessings in disguise” (I wrote about it in this very space three years ago). God is supremely good and would only permit the evil of disaster to occur or to exist in His works because He knows that good can be derived from evil. But, I strongly believe He is not punishing us but using these disasters to wake us up out of our wayward behavior. And, if anyone doesn’t believe we need waking up, they have only to turn on the TV, go to the movies, pick up a newspaper, check the texts, tweets that bombard us daily and witness the slow, but discernible fraying of our moral fabric. Now, after so many natural tragedies such as the Katrina hurricane, Haiti earthquake, Indonesia tsunami and now the combination in Japan, I think God is again sending us a message-yeah, in a punishing way-to get our act together, straighten up and fly right, smarten up, get with it, however you want to put it. In the Scriptures, we read more than once,“ Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour”. (Matthew 25:13 ) Outright warnings. It’s just possible these disasters are warnings in disguise. They might be His sirens, His smoke alarms.