In general, I’m not a person who sits around worrying about things that haven’t happened yet. But for some reason the recent report that we are due for a very big earthquake–one that would basically render everything west of I-5 unrecognizable, has me worried. Maybe because we are actually long over due for this quake, or because I don’t have any emergency supplies set aside, or because I’m a mom and I can’t imagine if it happened and the kids were at school–whatever it is, it has been a fight to try and not think about it.
Then the other day, one of my kids heard about the potential quake and he wanted to talk about it. At first, I just said, don’t worry, we will be ok and gave him a hug, but upon further reflection I realized I was going to have to think through my own fears and then have a little bit more of a “parent-like” talk with him.
Here is what I’m thinking. I have to realize that I just don’t have control of this. I can make some preparations–have cash, I was told by a friend who lived through the big one in San Francisco. Maybe buy some emergency back packs or something. I can certainly pray that God will protect us. But the thing is, there really isn’t anything you can do to prepare for something like that. It would be awful, and I would have to depend on the goodness of neighbors and the Red Cross and Lutheran World Relief and Jesus. But as Jesus said in Matthew, worrying about it isn’t going to add one bit to my life.
So I find myself being forced to live in the present once again. Because the fact is anything can happen to anyone of us at any time. That is just life. But when you are a person of faith, you can trust your future to God and that frees you to live in the right now.
This is what I ended up telling my son: I get really scared about earthquakes sometimes, too. So I pray to God about it a lot. We also need to make a plan for our family of what we would do if there was an earthquake. Your dad and I are taking care of that and we will figure out a place to meet. And then we just have to trust God. God will be with us. He will send people to help us. And so I’m going to let God take control of what I can’t. And then I gave him another big hug and told him we could talk about this any time.
I still have fear, but I’m trying to take big breaths and live in trust. I just don’t see any other options for living in this world. And actually, that is a pretty amazing option. Thank God for giving it to us.