Monday, August 6, 2007

A Tragedy, A Miracle

From Minnesota to Colorado to South Africa headlines this past week have been covered with news of the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, MN. By God's mercy my family was out of town at the time of the accident and is safe. As I sat several states away I scrambled for every scrap of news. Were any friend of mine affected. Do I recognize anyone in the pictures? What are the death and people missing numbers? What was the cause? Numerous friends of mine live, work, and attend church within several miles of the bridge but all are untouched. As news spread throughout the country I started to receive emails that gave me relief: "We are safe!," "I would have been on the bridge but chose an alternate route at the last minute," "Drove across the bridge 10 minutes before the collapse," "Did not affect anyone I know." Worry and helplessness filled and consumed me.
When a tragedy happens you wonder how could this happen so close to us? This happens in New York or California, not in my town. It is easy to complain about not having this crucial bridge for two years, traffic will be bad. But I tried to look at a few of the miracles: terrific was stopped so cars dropped instead of flying into the river, two lanes each way were closed for resurfacing so there was less traffic than normal, the water level of the river is historically low so it was easier for victims to get out of the river.
It seems like every now and them we need to be shaken out of our routine and be reminded that life is short. Many do not see a need for God until their deathbed, but a deathbed conversion is not an option for everyone. Our days are numbered and only our creator has the list. Here is a link to a blog created by friends and their response to the bridge collapse along with a Godly response when bad or hard to explain things happen <>.
Even now, almost a week afterwards we are still in a recovery stage, we still do not know how this happened, we still do not know how many have died or who the victims are, we still do not know what the plans are for rebuilding, we still do not know how this will effect our everyday lives, but we do know that God knew everything that happen on Wednesday, August 1, 2007 before the world was even created. God is in control. God has an ultimate plan. We can rest in this knowledge.


To my dear readers, I have not fallen off the face of the planet - yet. It seems that each year as you approach summer you think that you will have nothing to do to fill your days. The next time you can think of it, it is August when you see the back to school displays in the stores (do they realize how depressing it is?).
Although summer may be busy, I often learn the greatest lessons from God during this time. I was able to work at a camp for 5th and 6th graders earlier this summer where we focused on the theme that Christ is our Treasure. We can search all the world and look to family, friends, money, fashion, education, jobs, boyfriends/girlfriends, etc but none will fulfill our lives. I find myself asking "Am I willing to give up everything (family, home computer, cell phone, books, piano, family, friends, goals for life), that means everything in order to follow Christ with all my heart?" When I realize how hard it is to let go of everything I need to look at where my priorities in life are set at. As Americans we are very goal and money oriented. I want to climb the corporate ladder and succeed with my future but I also need to let all of that go, enjoy being in this stage of life, pursue God with my whole life while I have that unique opportunity.
So as summer comes to a close and you have a spare moment of time, reflect on Christ as your treasure, set up a date night with you family, read a good book, play a game with a friend, walk in the sunshine, and enjoy life in the unique stage of it that you are in.