This morning my wife rushed to get everything together and loaded to head to the Farmington Fair for Ag Day. Pots and pots of applesauce to be milled with the students who would come to the Fairgrounds. She was running late, she was planning to arrive at the Fairgrounds close to 8:30 am, but still home when there was a very loud noise close to 8:30 am, heard all over our county. In that moment everything changed.
For our family is was a pretty minor change. It changed our schedule and plans for our morning. Others in our community experienced much greater changes. At least one life was lost, a workplace and community resource was destroyed, and for many life after that explosion will never be like it was before the explosion.
We all experience these moments of profound change where life shifts sideways or upside down or just stops. An accident, a diagnosis, a call with news unexpected, and suddenly everything is different. I will never forget the phone call where I learned that they had discovered cancer in my father.
We like to think that we are in control of our lives and destinies. We like to think that we know what is happening and what is going to happen. We even tend to think that we deserve things to happen in a certain way, always positive for us. So often we then face moments where those ideas a ripped from us and we face an event that becomes a focal, turning point.
The Bible tries to warn us that this is the case. It warns us that we do not know what a day will bring forth, that our lives are like a vapor, or like grass that quickly whithers, like a flower that only blooms briefly. It even warns us that the world as we have constructed it in our humanity is no respector of good planning and virtue.
Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all. For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.
Today my heart aches for families and friends in my community who are facing the death or serious injury of loved ones. I’m also thinking of my friends who are facing more personal and private turning points. Divorces, job changes, relationship strife, health issues, and any number of other events that suddenly make everything different.
This is why I hold onto Christ. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He does not suddenly shift or change, and events to not overtake Him. This world is full of uncertainty and evil. Our lives are fragile and short. My hope is beyond myself.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah