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TITLE: Don't Let It Take a Hurricane
By Dan Langerock

Don't Let It Take a Hurricane
by Dan Langerock

Have you noticed whenever there is a hurricane or other disaster many people don't want to leave their homes even though their lives are in danger? This happens whether there is a fire, flood, or whatever. There is a spiritual correlation that can be made as well.

As a hospital chaplain, I see many people who wait until the last, if ever, to make things right in their relationships with relatives and friends, as well as with God. The problem with this waiting is that you are not guaranteed time to make those choices at the last of your life. The news is full of people who have died instantly in a car accident or their power of attorney had to be invoked because they were no longer able to make those life decisions.

Another problem is that if you wait too long to make spiritual decisions, your heart can be hardened to the point you just don't care whether you make peace with God or not. This is what I see the most in the hospital setting. For one reason or another people have slipped away from the closeness to God they once enjoyed, and they don't care about coming back. They make up their own religion or get attached to some strange one out there, and they could care less whether they were close to God just before they die.

Think about what happens to your home or your yard if you don't give it regular attention to clean it. The problem gets worse as time goes on, doesn't it? Those two things can be seen with the natural eyes, but our spiritual side cannot. It is because it can't be seen that our lives become such a mess. I have heard people say they don't need to go to church or read the Bible anymore because they have done it all their lives and that should be enough. Do you stop eating physical food at a given age? Of course not! Yet it is okay in our minds to shut off our spiritual supply of food? Does that make sense?

In our later lives, there are many changes going on in our bodies and relationships. Some of the things we used to do with ease no longer are possible: driving, favorite hobbies, just getting around etc. The friends we once knew are moved away or maybe in assisted living and other arrangements or have died. I see people all the time who are depressed because their circle of friends and relatives is diminishing and they are not out there making more friends, so they end up with no one. Besides, often people alienate their relatives and end up with no one in that respect as well.

Be honest with yourself and let God give you a spiritual checkup. Are you depressed or complaining more than you used to? Do you enjoy your life or are you always wishing for something to take away the doldrums? Are you content? Do you have peace in your daily life? Are you a controlling person, always needing to have your own way? These and more are symptoms of an inner spiritual dilemma. How does your life stack up now compared to when you were close to God?

Don't wait for a disaster in your life or the world at large before you come close to /God. He wants to help you with your life and is interested in every small detail. You may not have the chance to make the decisions you have put off so long if you wait, and then it will be too late. The Bible tells us we only have one life to live, not many, before we must face the consequences of our choices, spiritual and otherwise. It is the most important decision of your life to be close to God, His way. If you have never known God on a personal level or slipped away over the years, now is the time to make it right, not when disaster is at your door--whatever form it may take.

God wants to rescue us from a life of sin and all that goes with it, but He won't force us to make that vital decision. To not choose to be close to God is to choose to be apart from Him forever. That means, when you die you will no longer be able to make a choice to be close to Him, you will be separated from God forever.Do you care about your eternal destiny? God cares about you as an individual and He made a way for you to know Him, but you must make the choice--He cannot do it for you.
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