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Have you ever imagined living during the days of Noah and the ark? The animals walked in, two by two. The rain kept coming and coming. The water kept rising and rising.

In a sense that’s what happened in Nashville, TN during the first week of May, 2010. Weathermen say it was an unexpected happening. Newscasters called it a flood that only happens once in a thousand years. But to homeowners like myself, it brought to light what some have labeled “the tyranny of the urgent.”

Too often we are driven by the urgent things in our lives…the appointments we have to keep, the times of day we have to take our pills or walk the dog, the weekly blog that awaits another entry, the fuel gauge on the car that screams “Fill me, now, or I’m going to quit running!” There is a tyranny of urgent things in our lives that keeps us marching faster and faster in an attempt to accomplish it all.

But, when a “thousand year flood” invades your life, the urgent things lose significance in the face of the important things. Important things like a neighbor’s home flooding faster than he can get his things to safety. Important things like evacuating an elderly couple from a rapidly flooding home or checking on the home of a neighbor who is out of town. Important things like caring for one another, helping out in whatever way you can, sharing what little resources you might have with those who now have none.

For two full weeks our neighborhood was cut off from the outside world. No telephone. No Internet. Some roads impassable. That’s what happens when flood waters still cover the ground. No longer important by newscasters’ standards, but very important to those who live there. And when my telephone rang alerting us that we were reconnected to the twenty-first century, a cheer went up. And a prayer, too, for all those who lost loved ones in the flash floods, for all those who suffered major economic loss on top of already stretched thin finances, for all those who have no place to call home any longer, and for all those who still wait for electricity, telephone service, clean water, and clear roads.

It wouldn’t have been easy to be Noah up in that big, old ark, waiting for the water to subside, not knowing what he’d find when the ark finally rested on dry ground. Here in Nashville, we’re not sure how all this will pan out in the end, either. But this we do know. God is sovereign. And God is faithful to all the promises He has made. So, we will keep on trusting Him for the ride—-the ride of unemployment and of the watery ride of a thousand year flood. “In everything give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)!

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