Unless you live in a cave (in which case you probably don’t have access to the internet and therefore can’t read this post), you are already sick of hearing about Hurricane Ike. We in South Florida certainly are. This time of year always brings trepidation about the possibility of a major storm. The last two weeks have been typically trying. Ike has everyone on edge.
I have heard over the last few days from a few people who live down here who are choosing to leave town before the storm has a chance to hit. I really don’t blame people if they are able to scoot. Even if the evacuation proves unnecessary, waiting until the last minute can prove to be a mistake.
One of the interesting things about serving in local church ministry leadership is the idea that you can’t leave. Unless EVERYONE else departs, you have to stay. I am OK with that. I would never want to give anyone the impression that they are abandoned by their spiritual leadership in a time of crisis. It would be terrible to be needed and to be out of sight. I think it is kind of the “captain going down with the ship” thing. This is not an effort to appear noble. It is a realization that leadership responsibility runs deep.
The ship will not sink. If, by chance it does, I really wouldn’t want to be up north, safe and sound. I don’t think I could live with myself. I also don’t think I would have any credibility left once I returned to town. If someone needs prayer or encouragement or a helping hand, I want to be here.
If you are reading this from someplace north of, say Florida, and west of, say North Carolina, pray for us. Pray that the storms die out. Pray that the active storms lose strength. Pray for the storm victims in Haiti and the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas and Cuba. Pray for the people of the New Orleans area who are trying to recover from Gustav (and Katrina!). Pray for people and homes in the Keys. People are being evacuated in prep for the storm. As of 8PM on Saturday night, Key West could suffer a direct hit from a cat 4. Pray that the emotional pressure that is caused by all of this uncertainty will settle. Pray that churches can meet on Sunday and bring comfort to the worshippers. And pray that no leaders abandon ship.