What were you doing when you heard about the incoming missile threat in Hawaii?
When I first hear the story, I had three different reactions, all within a couple of minutes. The first was, Oh, my God, North Korea did it!
The second was a flashback to my childhood which was in the 50’s, and 60’s when school children were taught to “drop and cover,” by a cute cartoon character Bert the Turtle and his human sidekick. Bert and his sidekick taught children what to do in the event of a nuclear bomb detonation. Their little carton taught to drop and cover. Now why in the world would we “drop and cover?” The uncomfortable truth is you dropped to protect yourself from the blast as well as flying objects, the cover part was to keep you from being cut by debris or being burned.
Looking back, this was a very vain attempt by our government to minimized the risk of nuclear warfare.
I don’t know if you and I can comprehend what it must have felt like to have that disturbing message show up on a cell phone.
As I was attempting to get my head around both the announcement and the retraction I wondered if some of my friends were still in Hawaii. So, I reached out to one. My question, “So were you still in the islands for the incoming nuke alert?” His response,
Yes, we were driving across the island. All in the car received the alert on their cell phones. Everyone was panicked for a bit. Took about thirty minutes for the reverse announcement to be made.”
As crazy as this event was, particularly for those living in Hawaii, it is a very real reminder that we live in a dangerous world.
Public sources tell us North Korea has the missile power to deliver a nuclear weapon, but they lack two critical components. The first is a heat shield which protects the device from re-entry until detonation. The second element is a reliable guidance system to make sure the nuclear package is delivered to its designated target. The scary part of this is national experts have publicly stated the North Koreans are only a year or two away from having this capacity.
Watching the news clips of people running, people giving what they thought was their final greetings on various social media platforms was a poignant reminder of how fragile life is.
My third reaction as a result of this news story was the somber reminder that you and I are guaranteed nothing.
Life is fragile, and there are no guarantees about anything.
What do we do about this dilemma about the fragility of life? Do we eat, drink, and be merry, and act like all is well or do we hit the pause button for a few minutes.
Two things are certain, death and taxes. The death question is one most of us try to avoid unless we lose someone close to us, have a severe illness or accident or are getting up in years.
That question is how and when will I die? A question which uncomfortably and rudely flashed itself across the phones and minds of thousands as they contemplated what they thought was their last minutes on this earth.
But what about you, how would you handle this type of situation? Is there something you can do to be ready? After all, I don’t know anyone who thinks of death as a timely event.
While I am not signing up for an early checkout, I made a life-changing decision over forty years ago to become a Christ Follower and began a relationship with Jesus Christ. And while I am no saint, I have a deep inner confidence whether I live or die, no matter what I face, he is with me. He will guide me, comfort me, and accompany me wherever I go. I know whether I die of old age in my home or a hospital, in an accident or on one of my journeys, he will be there with me.
How about you? Death is an unavoidable reality, and one thing is for sure you are going to die someday. I want you to have a long, rich, wonderful life, but I also want you to be ok with your end story.
Would love to hear from you in the comments section.