Tuesday, June 25 2024 - 2:05 AM
Photo by Thomas Ehling with Unsplash

Deconstructing Life

Several years ago I watched images of horrendous loss for the people of Japan. Rivers of cars, airplanes, boats, houses, possessions all washed away or into mammoth piles. And for each survivor, and for those watching around the world, we have been reminded of what is truly important in life. People search for people. Those living need water, food, shelter, clothing, and medical care. The rest is all flotsam, irrelevant for survival, or replaceable.

Just a few days before this world event, fires had consumed hundreds of acres of land in my state. People were interviewed as they prepared to abandon there homes to go to safer areas. Small children clutched a few belongings. Pets were packed into cars along with suitcases. Everything else could be reduced to ashes within minutes.

I am reminded of a culinary term that has surfaced in the past few years. Deconstructing a recipe. What used to be a mix of ingredients in a casserole, sauce, etc., is now clearly identifiable or re-combined as separate entities on the plate. So, it seems that another country has been deconstructed by the forces of nature and human invention.

Reshaping Our Lives

What do we discover when forces outside of our human control, re-shape our lives? A new normal will exist in Japan and elsewhere. As I work with individuals, couples and families, I realize they too have been deconstructed by life events. That reality can be traumatic, yet great good can still prevail. Under the rubble, people find the character qualities that reside in themselves and their family or neighbors. They also often re-learn about what is really important for their lives.

Jesus Christ appeared on earth’s stage like a spiritual earthquake — a tsunami to wash away all the religious clutter that had trapped people’s hearts and lives. He reduced relationships with God and people down to simple elements such as Bread, Water, Light, a Gate, a Shepherd, a Vine, a Father. “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12, NIV).

Questions for personal journaling or group discussion:

1. If you had five minutes to evacuate your home, what would you take?

2. What part of your life is in need of “deconstructing”? What simple elements need to remain?

Karen Spruill writes from Orlando, Florida.

If you liked this, you may also like God and Earthquakes

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About Karen Spruill

Karen Spruill

writes from Orlando, Florida.

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