Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday's Words for April 21, 2010

Does the volcano in Iceland worry you? It worries me.

I do a good job, most of the time, believing that I have some control over the circumstances of my life. I plan for the future, do what I can to take care of the present. I step out on faith every morning, which isn’t necessarily as simple as it sounds. I had triple by-pass surgery nearly eight years ago and I have diabetes, though that at least is under control. I know full well the day will come when I breathe my last, but again, I have faith that it will be some day down the road, a day of the Father’s choosing, and that the sun will rise and set after I am gone, and life will go on.

And then something like this volcano happens—unexpected, and from a place we generally never think about (apologies to Icelanders)—and all of my assumptions are shaken to their core.

We all of us understand there’re such things as natural disasters. Of course we do. We watch the Discovery Channel and see footage of hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes. We’ve seen pictures and videos from when Mount St. Helen’s erupted in 1980. Heck, we tune in to watch dramatizations of an asteroid strike or a sudden overpopulation crisis.

But we never think that any of those things will necessarily really affect us. We certainly never reflect on the possibility that something that happens a half a world away can change our lives.

As you read this, thousands of people are still stranded far away from their homes, waiting for the ash cloud to dissipate, waiting for airlines to return to full schedules, just waiting. This disruption to modern life is more than just inconvenient. Vacationers have run out of money, and have no place to stay, which means no food, either. People are bathing in airport washrooms because they have no place else to go. Some people are running out of medication, drugs that are needed to sustain their lives.

The volcano keeps spewing. This, combined with all of the earthquake activity in the last few months—more major quakes in a short period of time than I ever remember hearing about before—tells us that something is happening to our planet.
Something is happening to our planet and it’s scary stuff.

I don’t believe in all the hype given to the impending arrival of the year 2012. I just don’t. I’ve heard experts on both sides of the aisle, versed in the history and traditions of the Mayan people, argue for and against an apocalyptic prediction. End of life as we know it may sell movie tickets, but it’s not, in my opinion, a foregone conclusion.

Yes, I tend to look for the positives in life. But that’s not it. I just simply can’t really wrap my head around the concept that life could change so drastically, so quickly, and so permanently.

And then we get the eruption of a long-inactive volcano.

It’s so important to keep your bearings when things like this happen. I tend to immerse myself in the minutia of my life. Details and routines help and yes, I acknowledge there’s an element of denial at work there. I’ve successfully used that element as a coping mechanism for a great deal of my life, off and on. As a good friend of mine often says, denial is more than a river.

Nothing constructive comes from getting upset over what you can’t change. You just have to keep doing the best you can, live each day to the fullest, and have faith that everything will turn out all right in the end.

That’s not really denial; that’s the power of positive thinking.

Feed the flames of your passion…with a novel by Morgan Ashbury

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