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Get High on Life

By Harold Keller / L’Observateur / September 30, 1998

Last week, as we watched the direction of Hurricane Georges, many people said they were praying it wouldn’t come here. I just thought, “Do we prayfor it to go somewhere else and, perhaps, kill and damage other people’s property?” As I thought of that, I tried to imagine people in the Gulf Coast area praying not to be the victims of the hurricane which had already killed an estimated 500 poor people in the Dominican Republic. Did we think ofthose people when Georges was doing its damage over a week ago? I think not. All people, including myself, are basically selfish. It’s amazing howwe all have the strength to endure the misfortunes of others.

My wife and I decided to leave the area. We went north to Memphis, Tenn.We kept in contact with people who decided to stay in the area. Were werelieved when it changed course and we dodged the bullet again? You bet.

We breathed a sigh of relief. The most predictable thing about the weather(Georges proved that) is that it’s unpredictable.

Last week, I didn’t pray for Georges not to come here. I was just remindedthat God had a reason for everything. Why the devastation in the DominicanRepublic? I don’t have the answer. Why did God spare New Orleans and theRiver Parishes again? I certainly don’t have the answer. I do know onething. It makes people realize, even if it’s for a couple of days, howprecious life is and how material things are not that important.

Regardless of the ingenuity of man – all the inventions – all the health plans – all safety measures – the condition of the stock market – President Clinton’s inability to survive in the political arena – my lack of faith, God is in control.

I really didn’t think of the poor people in the Dominican Republic until Georges threatened us. Reality was hitting closer to home.I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “A level playing field.” That, maybe,can be arranged in athletic competition. In the game of life, the playingfield is not level. The poor people living in poorly-constructed huts in theDominican Republic had no chance. Some of the people living in the areawhere Georges was predicted to come, perhaps wanted to leave, but had no transportation, nor money to leave.

Yes, life is not a level playing field. If you try to analyze it, you willweaken the little faith you might have.

Today I’m reminded that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The choices I make can’t change that. There is a reason and season foreverything.

I’m again reminded how we all have the strength to endure the misfortunes of others. One day, how I handle mine is what I’ll have toanswer to.

Harold Keller is a regular columnist for L’Observateur.

Copyright © 1998, Wick Communications, Inc.

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