It seems we have all been a little shellshocked. What a summer. Terrorist attacks and campaigns. Shootings and tension. Now, it has come home to me more than ever. I have lived on Bethany Church’s North campus property for 53 years. I’ve never seen anything like what happened there this weekend.
How quickly your world can change. From a calm, lazy summer Thursday afternoon to 25 inches of rain and emergency evacuation. I was speaking in Austin, Texas, Saturday when I got word from Melanie that she had grabbed our vital documents and loaded a boat for higher ground.
My daddy’s favorite phrase came back to me: “Hang loose, keep it simple, travel light.”
Here are some helpful thoughts to think when you are in a personal disaster like this:
1. IT'S JUST STUFF
- People are all that matter. You can buy a new couch and tv. Clothes and books wear out anyhow. Your family is all that matters…are they safe?
- It’s a pretty good exercise in “price tags.” I like the Master Card commercial that goes through various comforts and niceties and ends with the face of a loved one: “Priceless”
2. OUR SECURITY IS IN HEAVEN
- There is NOTHING on earth that is permanent. In the Bible, there is a phrase that says, “It came to pass…” To which we could add, “…nothing comes to stay.”
- My grandfather’s favorite verse was, “We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Tim. 6:7).
3. FOCUS ON YOUR NEIGHBOR
- When you are losing everything, you tend to become myopic in your focus: “What did you forget behind? What can never be replaced?”
- Thankfully, two of my sons have been using a small fishing boat to drive house to house in our neighborhood and evacuate neighbors. They have helped two widows to flee their homes, calming them from the panic of sudden change without a husband in the home.
It brings back memories of Katrina in 2005. Nine hundred evacuees from New Orleans stayed for months in three North Campus gymnasiums that are, at this moment, totally underwater.
Nothing is permanent. “Floodwater” means a place where your foot cannot rest. It rises and changes by the half hour.
Like our world right now.
Thank you to the many of you who read my blog. I am enjoying reaching out to you with thoughts and life coaching. Your response has been tremendous.
Now, I want to thank you for your prayers. We face a long restoration process. Hopefully, when the last fence is rebuilt and the last carpet laid, we will do what we always do in South Louisiana: