This evening I was preparing our Emergency Bag – obviously something we should’ve done when we 1st arrived several weeks ago!
It’s a bag especially designed for emergencies – as you might expect. It includes a small 1st-aid kit, candle, matches, torch, tarpaulin, drinking water, the ubiquitous packets of facial tissues, a bit of cash in case ATMs aren’t working and photocopies of important things like passports, and bank books etc. We also need to have at the ready, rain wear, warm clothing, and shoes. It’s so that, in the unlikely event of a major earthquake, we’ll be able to grab it and run out the building to safety with all the essentials to survive a few days.
Apparently, in Japan there are several earthquakes everyday. Most of them you can’t feel, but Japan has more than her fair share of earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes!
I’ve never had an emergency bag before, but this evening I was reminded of the recent Icelandic eruption that put Europe into turmoil. We had family stuck in Spain unable to fly back home. There were students unable to get back in time for final exams. It wasn’t just Europe either. Some of my relatives were stuck in Tokyo for a week longer than planned because they couldn’t fly back to the UK.
At first, it seemed like a joke – a bit surreal. Imagine (some of you don’t need to!) going to the airport with the sun shining, ready to head home and… the flight’s cancelled. Why? Because of a volcano in Iceland! The flight’s not even going to/from Iceland!
I felt it was a great reminder of how powerless we are. All of us I’m sure, Christian or not, try to control our lives as best we can. Sometimes we can even believe that we are in control. And yet, one day something like a volcano happens… and there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it! We are not in control.
Who controls volcanoes and planets and stars and tides and seasons? Who controls quarks and protons and quantum mechanics? Who controls life, breath and everything? Certainly not us!!
4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone –
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
– from Job 38,40