Hurricanes in Perspective: The Inconveniences of Affluence
We’ve just stumbled through four foul weeks. It was like Armageddon followed by the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And it all started, appropriately, on Friday the 13th.
First, Hurricane Charley toppled our trees, pulled the plug on our power, cut our cable, interrupted our Internet access, and crippled our cell phones. The avalanche of email screeched to a halt—although maybe a blessing rather than a curse. Then just 23 days later, the fury of Frances finished off what the chutzpa of Charley began.
At our house we had no power for a week, no phone for two weeks, and no cable television or email for 19 days. Then on September 5th, it started all over again.
If that wasn’t enough, the “normal” setbacks of our lives did not abate. Dogs kept getting sick, refrigerators kept breaking, and the kids kept fighting with their brothers and sisters.
For me, the motherboards on both of my computers failed. On a trip to Atlanta, our car started lurching. As I limped along the Interstate at 20 mph, I called a friend on my cell. He said, “Wow, you’ve really been hit with a lot of problems.” I’ve thought a lot about what he said.
I thought about having a pity party, but decided against it. Yes, I’ve been surrounded by inconvenience. I feel like I’ve been living in a refugee camp. But on reflection, it’s a pretty upscale refugee camp.
Honestly, these are not problems. These are the inconveniences of affluence. There are people in the world who have real problems: starving people in Africa, the poor in Haiti, the victims of hate and violence in America. Closer to home, a friend’s father just passed away. Another friend’s marriage teeters on the brink of divorce. Yet another friend finds himself estranged from his son. Those are real problems.
I marvel at the maturity of so many on my neighbors and the citizens of Greater Orlando. Instead of whining about their inconveniences, they have reached out and ministered to their neighbors. Teams of men have pulled together to clear debris. Long extension cords have stretched from the haves to the homes of have nots.
We have looked into the face of disaster and said, “You are no real problem. You are merely an inconvenience. You reminded me of how blessed I am.” This is not to say that inconveniences are not inconvenient. They just need to be put into perspective—as so many people have done. Their character bolsters my faith in God and my hope for mankind.
Together in the Battle for Men’s Souls,