I was listening to the news this morning while driving to work today, and they played several comments from stranded motorists in the Chicago area attempting to navigate the roadways. What seemed to be more remarkable (other than the fact they were on the roads to begin with) is how the majority of those interviewed were ‘surprised’ at how poor the conditions were, and overestimated their abilities in being able to get around. Despite the fact this storm has been discussed for the past few days, and it seems the forecasters were pretty close in their predictions, too many still question what is going on and don’t want to believe what is plainly in front of them.
We had our own little storm in this area last week, and I unfortunately was one of those ‘schleps’ that ended up taking 8 hours to go 20 miles in the worst driving conditions I have ever seen. Likewise, the local forecasters called that storm correct, and were even ‘on the money’ with the start time of the snow. What was, and is remarkable about this area, Chicago and the major metropolitan areas in the northeast that attempts to go about ‘business as usual’ is how it takes so little to alter our ability to do our day to day lives, and how upset and uptight people get when their routines are disrupted. Even when it is painfully clear we cannot do our normal routine, human nature spurs the majority of us to defy what we know to be true, and attempt to do what we know we cannot.
There seems to be something in the psyche of most Americans that we believe we can defy any set of conditions, and have some God given right to expect things to work out in whatever manner we expect, and have little to no tolerance for differing outcomes. I know as I drove home that night, and noticed all of the abandoned cars on the road, many people were not able to accomplish the most rudimentary tasks for that day: simply getting home in a reasonable amount of time. What would we do if something more catastrophic than a snowstorm occurred? How would we deal with the fact that we actually have little control over our environment, and would be in deep trouble if we had to depend on our own knowledge and abilities to take care of day-to-day needs?
These are realistic questions we need to ponder being Christians, and consider how we often make public proclamations on how we depend on God for our needs, when we live like we depend only upon ourselves. We then become very aggravated when matters don’t go our way, and expect the world to consistently conform to our expectations. These storms have proven how unprepared we are, and it would bode well for us to take a more humble view of our environment and world we live in. The more we see of the recent events in our world, the more is should become obvious we have little control over the world and its events. There is a need to get back in touch with the whole aspect of dependency upon God, and the need to be more open to ‘rolling with the punches’ as they occur.
What are we going to do when the big events occur? Or if longer-term environmental or economic problems start that are not resolved as ‘instantly’ as we want? Most likely, the majority will not be prepared, and the lack of preparation will strain what limited resources are available. It really is time to work on preparation and get in touch with how we truly are dependent on God for all things.