Most of us have touchstone points in our lives - moments when we knew nothing would ever be the same. Members of my generation can describe in detail what they were doing when JFK was assassinated or when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Many members of my children's generation can tell you what they remember about Columbine or when the planes flew into the World Trade Center and how it changed their world view. Big events. Shots heard round the world.
Today I'm thinking about how life will never be the same for hundreds of people in my part of the world. Wildfires are burning out of control all around us, particularly to the east, in Bastrop County. This 50-second video from TX Parks and Wildlife shows how quickly the landscape can change.
The landscape of our lives can change just as quickly. I think most of us plan for the future as if we can control it. Events local and global remind us of the futility of such thinking. I'm guessing that not one person woke up in Bastrop on Saturday morning thinking about where their important documents were and what they should grab if they had to evacuate. Yet nearly half of those people have had to leave their homes over the past 4 days. Some of them will return to those homes, some to ashes. You never know. . .
Those of us who are affected only by proximity will go on with our lives without much impact. People affected by the fires will never be the same. In a lifetime nearly everyone will experience at least one of these unexpected changes in the landscape. Maybe God allows these moments because these are the times where we see most clearly that we are mere humans, dependent on the Creator who is so much more than all of us combined. I wonder around in this territory regularly; and my list of maybes grows. In the meantime let us turn our faces to God and pray for rain, and for safety, and with thanksgiving for all who have been spared. Amen.