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 Vol. 8, No. 1 

January 2006

~ Page 18 ~

Gone in an Instant

By Jay Launius

Mark Griffin sat staring out into space from the edge of the bench in front of the Howard County Recreation Center. His mind drifted back to the last 4th of July, a happier time. He remembered the smell of burgers cooking on the grill, the sound of the kids playing in the backyard. The picnic table spread with all of the fixings including his wife's delicious apple pie complete with homemade ice cream. He remembered feeling very happy and secure; he felt a great sense of accomplishment after 23 years of hard work that now had paid off. But suddenly the pleasant memory changed, it became dark and dangerous. He remembered awaking on that fateful Thursday night just 3 days ago to the sounds of thunder mixed with sirens. The excitement, shock, panic and fear as the wind began to rock the house. The sound of breaking glass could be heard everywhere. It was so dark that the small flashlight he held in his hand gave no comfort. Setting in the storm shelter huddled together with his wife and children, he could hear his life being literally blown away.

The next morning when all seemed quiet outside, he brought his family out of the shelter to find that the F5 tornado not only had taken their home and neighborhood, but it had taken the entire town. Nothing was left of the small town except a few houses that bordered the path of the huge storm. It was all gone, the house, the new Ford SUV, the pool was completely covered with debris. The yard, landscaping and trees were gone; there was nothing left of his happy complete life, or so he thought. Suddenly his three-year-old daughter Samantha came and crawled into his lap, laid her head on his chest and said, "I love you Daddy." He then knew that everything would someday be all right.

Recent events such as the hurricanes on the gulf coast should give us all a wake up call. All of the material things we have now could be gone in an instant. That's one of the reasons Jesus taught that we should be more concerned with the spiritual rather than the physical side of life. "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal" (Matthew 6:19-20). We have all been so richly blessed with material things, but our attitudes should be such that if we lost it all tomorrow, we would still rejoice in the forgiveness, salvation and treasure we have through Jesus with our Heavenly Father.Image

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