There's a storm brewing out there. Isaac isn't in the Gulf yet, but he's headed this way. And he's going to come ashore very close to the 7th anniversary of Katrina's arrival.
I remember being in church on August 28, 2005. As it was the last Sunday of our literature's quarterly cycle, the new quarter's books were in our classroom, ready to be handed out. We joked about the picture on the front: it showed a photograph of a house after a disaster. My memory tells me the house was laying on it's side, either fallen or blown over. We laughed and hoped that our houses didn't look like that the next day.
So many houses DID look like that on Monday as the storm moved inland. Or the houses were completely gone! And then in the following days as river water flooded into New Orleans, more houses became uninhabitable with rising water and mud.
Seven years have passed and I'm not in that Sunday School class any more. I'm working in the children's Sunday School department. This month we are studying contentment. We've looked at several people who weren't content: Adam and Eve in the garden, the Israelites as they were fed by God in the wilderness, King Ahab as he looked over at Naboth's vineyard.
I know that as the children come into church this Sunday morning, some will be worried about the weather. They will have heard their parents or school teachers remembering other big storms. Most won't remember Katrina, but the stories will be told in their hearing.
I believe it is no coincidence that our bible story this week will be coming from an unlikely place for a "story." It's a part of the Sermon on the Mount. There are no action figures, no miracles, no kings or serpents or water from a rock. It's simply Jesus telling us not to worry: not about our clothes or our food or how long we will live. The Bottom Line, as our lesson puts it, is "When you trust God, you don't have to worry about tomorrow." You don't have to worry about Isaac. Yes, you should prepare. (or as we would say it to the kids: you need to make the wise choice to get ready)
But Trusting is so much better than worrying. I'm glad this will be the picture we take with us this week.
P.S. I'd like to say thanks to the nice people at Orange for giving me permission to use their image here.