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The Last Alarm

This was the most powerful eruption we witnessed. Even from far away, we heard the "boom" of the exploding lava as it exited the mouth of the volcano.

This was the most powerful eruption we witnessed. Even from far away, we heard the “boom” of the exploding lava as it exited the mouth of the volcano.

 

Sitting across the valley about 20 miles away, it was easy to watch the volcano erupt with awe and wonder but with little concern for our safety. We were on the east side of the city of Antigua, Guatemala. I was excited I had my camera with the best zoom lens I own.

This was the largest eruption we witnessed. All day eruptions occurred every 7-8 minutes and smoke would rise. This time it sounded like  a sonic boom very close to us. In a few seconds, the white ash could be seen flowing down the sides.

Our guide explained that at night, the orange lava was visible.

We asked if there was constant fear in the people living in the cone of danger that the “big” one could be next. Apparently, they have a system similar to our tornado sirens. What he said next has stuck with me.

He responded, “No, the sirens sound so often that people just ignore the alarms.” Hmmm

So, that’s what I have been thinking about lately. As the years and decades roll by, I find myself treasuring each day in deeper ways. Conversations are deeper, more meaningful. Simple irritations hold no space in me. (Most of the time – somedays they pile up on me.)

Peace is important to me.

But, just as important to me is living authentically. Working on the pieces of me that aren’t focused on keeping me God centered is important to me. God is important to me and my relationship with Him – a priority.

Do you ever think  there parts of your life where you have been alerted of danger so often that you have grown accustomed to ignoring the alarms? Where the noise no longer causes a response?

I think about it a lot. Which parts of those pieces in me do I ignore?

It was easy for us to sit there in our chairs across the valley, comfortable as we finished our lunch, take one look at the volcano erupting and  wonder “what are those people thinking”?

Then we utter those words . . . “if that were me”. . . and move right into solving all their problems.

The real problem isn’t them ignoring the warnings.

The real problem is us having an opinion when our focus should be turned inward.

It is us turning our backs on the very serious issues in our lives that need attention. No matter how loud they have been screaming at us, we learn to tune them out. It’s easier to focus on what everyone else needs to be paying attention to.

The scariest question I ask myself is “what warnings have I been ignoring”?

I read about a volcano that just erupted in Russia. It has been dormant for 250 years and showed no signs of potential activity. Scientists there say it is a complete surprise. With no warning to anyone.

Just like the people living near this volcano in Guatemala, who have heard the sirens for years and nothing has happened, what pieces of us have been screaming for years trying to keep us focused on the imminent danger. The volcano WILL erupt one day. Maybe there will be warning signs and maybe there won’t. The days of our lives ARE numbered.

This is the conversation God and I have been having lately.

Romans 14:7-8

We don’t live for ourselves alone. And we don’t die all by ourselves. 8If we live, we live to honor the Lord. If we die, we die to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 

I want to live to honor God. In living my life in honor, the peace of knowing I belong to Him fills me with the courage to dig out the pieces of me that need to be brought into the light. I want to pay attention to the alarms when they sound. I want to live well and die well.

 

8 Responses to “The Last Alarm”

  1. Marciartsy says:

    Thank you for sharing your ponderings . Yesterday I heard what sounded like trumpets, later to find out was a test for a fire siren. Several people confess that they did nothing when they heard it. It reminded me of the trumpets we will here in the last day and wondered how many of us were ready today including myself .

    • Janet Reeger says:

      Thank you for reading Marcia! What a great illustration from you too. It seems there are constant reminders around all of us doesn’t it? I love how God gets our attention.

  2. Scott Cannon says:

    Well said Janet. That is what we all should strive for.

    • Janet Reeger says:

      Thank you Scott. This is one of the things about our class I appreciate. We encourage each other to stay connected to God and be aware of His presence in this world.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Yes, yes, me too!!! My favorite sentence – the peace of knowing I belong to Him fills me with the courage to dig out the pieces of me that need to be brought into the light.

    Amen, sista!

    • Janet Reeger says:

      Thank you sweet friend. It sure does take a lot of courage and I am beyond grateful I do not have to do it alone.

  4. Lynne says:

    Great word!

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