Sunday, April 18, 2010

Volcanic Ash, Earthquakes, A Meteorite....Life on Planet Earth

As most people know, volcanic ash from the eruption of a volcano in Iceland spread across the skies in Europe canceling thousands of flights for days, disrupting travel plans and canceling concerts and other important events. Even President Obama's trip to Poland to attend the funeral of the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski and his wife, had to be cancelled, because of the dangers of ash to aircraft engines. Such tragedy in Poland. So sad. 
In other news last week, a blazing fireball streamed across the southern Wisconsin sky, lighting it up. Hundreds of people called local police and the National Weather Service, concerned about what it might be. There were "several reports of a prolonged sonic boom....along with shaking of homes, trees and various other objects." It turned out to be a large meteor since fragments have already been found by farmers and meteor hunters (who knew meteor hunters even existed). Fragments of meteors, which don't disintegrate in the atmosphere and land on earth are valuable, each one is worth approximately $100.00-$500.00. That's interesting. They'll most likely wind up in a museum, maybe right here in New York. Probably you'll be able to see one of these fragments in the Museum of Natural History, in the future. They have some huge meteors in the museum. 
Sadly, there was another deadly earthquake recently, this time in China. Some people think earthquakes are happening more frequently, but geologists state this isn't the case. Craig Childs wrote in a NY Newsday article titled, "All Shook Up on Planet Earth," that a "series of quakes makes it feel like the end of days. But it's been this way forever." He ends his article like this...."Are these the end times? Yes. And they have been this way since the beginning. Welcome to Planet Earth, a wonderful but not entirely stable place to live."
Earth isn't a stable place to live? Well, most of the time it is. It's a beautiful planet, especially this time of year in the Northeast, a wonderful creation, but it does have its imperfections.
The most uplifting words I heard this weekend came from a 2nd grader who is preparing to receive First Communion. He came with his parents to a mini-retreat in Brooklyn. I asked the children present, "What's the best thing about Jesus?" One boy came to the microphone to share and his reply was great, "He's got our back!" I think that's a great statement of faith. Yes, Jesus' got our back and even in the midst of trials, uncertainty and stressful events, Jesus will see us through. As I said yesterday and as I've written many times on this blog, "keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus" helps us stay grounded and focused. Children are very open to that message.