So, Saturday morning, 8am Hawaii time January 13th, everyone in Hawaii with a cell phone got this message. As you can imagine, chaos ensued. Thankfully it was an error on the local government’s part, which is evident by the fact that Hawaii still exists and the world isn’t in the beginnings of World War 3.
If we use all that comes to us for our spiritual advantage, then this should be a wake-up call.
Imagine yourself, if you will, at 8 o’clock in the morning, and you get this text. What are you going to do next? Let me tell you something real: this is a death notice; don’t fool yourself. A full-on nuclear conflict is a certain beginning of the end. One may live through a blast if they’ve gotten to an adequate shelter, but surely, thanks to our pre-packaged, no-clue-how-to-survive-without-modern-conveniences society, a long death by starvation or radiation poisoning will occur.
So- what will you do? What do think will be going through your mind? Have you been caught off guard? Are you scared? Are you depressed? Is this depressing?
It shouldn’t be. We are warned by all the holy fathers and mothers of the Church to be watchful, to be on guard lest we be caught unawares on the day of our death. Why? Is it because death is such a bad thing?
My friends, it is not death that is what we are to fear. Death is out of our hands and will come to all of us one day. Rather, it is sin which we can control; sin which we can fight to make sure we are not partaking in at the moment of our death.
St. John Chrysostom hits this nail right on the head. “Do not grieve on account of death, for it is part of nature; grieve on account of sin, for it is a fault deriving from our free choice.” “Let us not tremble at death, but at sin…to die in sin is to die more miserably than a dog.”
So my friends let’s not dwell on death and make our lives psychotic in an avoidance of it, but let’s use things like this false alarm in Hawaii to help us dwell on sin, and how to avoid it, so that when, if God allows that one day we get that text, we will have nothing to fear.
God be with you.