Thursday, August 25, 2011

Earthquakes, Hurricanes and Other Uncertainties

I called my cousin, who lives in Virginia with her family, the day the earthquake struck to see how they were doing. I didn't feel a thing in New York but of course many New Yorkers did and were shaken from the experience. My cousin said that when the earthquake struck her area, it felt and sounded like a truck was going into her house. She screamed for her two teenage children to jump into the bathtub and that's what they all did. It was an unnerving experience for them and understandably so. The ground was literally shaking beneath them and what could be more unsettling than that.
Now in the most recent news reports, there is another rare event happening on the East Coast. A powerful and damaging hurricane named Irene is menacing the East Coast of the United States and worrying everyone in its path. Since I tend to worry and my house is surrounded by huge trees, being at home is really not that safe but what choice do I have. I can only wait and pray for the best as many others are doing. Everyday is a gift to be enjoyed and savored, if only I could remember that all the time.
When it says in the Bible to be spiritually ready at all times, since no one knows the day or hour of the end of the world or the end of our own fragile life, it's good to be spiritually prepared for anything, at all times. We so often forget that when things are going well.
Life can "throw" anything at us, at any time. We're seeing that unfold this week. The obvious ways to be prepared spiritually by saying our prayers, being attentive to one's relationship with God, being a good Christian and following Jesus' advice for living rightly and justly with others are good ways to sail through any "storm" in life.
My cousins from Virginia are good, caring people, who are active in their Church. My cousin's husband is a convert to Catholicism and he joined the Knights of Columbus as soon as he converted. They try to live rightly and justly and they were ready for anything. Thank God nothing happened to them, but in my opinion, spiritually they were ready.
Another thing I value very highly besides prayer and living according to Jesus' words is common sense. Using common sense can provide safety in this uncertain world we live in. I've written this before and I'll write it again because I think it's important and I think it's only common sense. I hope and pray that someday, in the near future, the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant which is so close to NYC and it's suburbs will be closed and other energy sources will be found to supply our needs. Why? The answer is just plain, old common sense. The unusual earthquake that struck Virginia measured 5.8 in intensity. Indian Point can only withstand a 6.1 earthquake and one or more of its reactors was built on fault line. (Hello, who builds a nuclear power plant close to NYC on a fault line??) And though this was a rare seismic event, a geologist on CNN the other evening said, "We could see another earthquake, a large one on the East Coast of the United States, in the future. I can't rule it out." (I'm paraphrasing but he said something like that.)
Using prayer and common sense would tell me, tell anyone who is thinking straight that Indian Point has to close at sometime in the future. Find alternative energy sources and put those people who presently work at Indian Pt. to work on other sources, but let's be realistic about the future and the safety of over 12 million people.