Words Spotlight: Lauren Katherine
My darling sister, Lauren Katherine, is becoming quite the writer on her high school newspaper and I couldn't be prouder. She writes about a very interesting series of events that are too eerie, coincidental and straight up weird to ignore. I had to repost!
" The story you are about to read is a story I wrote for my journalism class. I worked incredibly hard on this essay and I stand behind every word that is written. This is a topic I believe everyone can relate to and if not relate to then at the very least find interesting and thought provoking. In a world with so many tragedies, something needs to change. If this essay sparks the flame for that change, then I have done my job. Enjoy.
'Finding Faith When it Fades'
When life threatening events occur, we look for ways to make sense of it all. Some turn to friends and family, others church and some turn to science. A popular bible quote is making rounds as evidence to explain recent natural disasters in the United States: Luke 21: 25-26.The verse reads, "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken."
On Aug. 21, the Earth crossed the shadow of the moon creating a total solar eclipse that nearly everyone in America witnessed. Shortly after, on Aug. 25, Hurricane Harvey tore through a part of Texas leaving mass casualties and people stranded without food, water and some without homes. Just one day later, Aug. 26, Hurricane Harvey's rainfall trailed into Houston causing massive floods. The strange correlation between the Bible verse and the natural disasters is the verse number and day of the event. The eclipse was on the 21, hurricane on the 25, and floods on the 26. Not only do the days and verse number match up, but the verse itself mirrors the effects these disasters had on the world. Now, what does all of this mean? Some say the end of the world, some say coincidence, some say God, but I say maybe a little bit of both.
The advancement in science today allows meteorologists to speculate weather patterns and look at factors that could lead to hurricanes. Their predictions include research on sustainable winds, wind speeds and the possibility of how many hurricanes will actually occur. Despite all the research, speculations about possible hurricanes is at best, an educated guess. No amount of research can guarantee when and where a hurricane will take place. So, how did the Bible predict something more accurately than scientists who have more knowledge and resources today?
This comes down to two beliefs: either it is a coincidence or God is sending a message. In reading through Luke chapter 21, one can see predictions about the adversities of the world and how we will be faced with "fearful events" and "great signs from heaven." With all the unfortunate happenings in the world today, it is easy to pin the blame on God. However, when sources such as Bible verses may have predicted them, it challenges our tendencies to pin this one on God.
What if the theory on the end of the world is not the end of life itself, but the end in the belief in God.
The Bible states, "But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict […] stand firm and you will win life". This Bible verse is undoubtedly sending a message. With everything going on in our world today, something needs to change. While humanity's faith in God is fading, His love for us stands firm. God is calling us back to Him - to stay strong in our faith and not doubt his ways despite the most devastating disasters and evil tragedies.
I challenge you to think back to the unwavering faith you had in Santa Claus as a child. You never doubted he would be there for you. You trusted him, behaved all year to avoid coal - you even baked cookies for him! Now think about your faith in Mr. Claus while watching the infamous 2003 film Elf. In the very end of the movie Elf, Santa's sleigh would not fly because the engine stopped working. “Why?” you desperately asked Will Ferrell… because it could no longer make up for the loss of spirit in humanity. The spirit that made people believe in Santa Claus is what led the sleigh to fly. As a child, I was frustrated and confused how anyone’s faith could dim, fade or stop altogether. However, circumstances unavoidably occur, yielding disbelief and insecurity in our faith. The sleigh is a metaphor for a belief in something so powerful that when that belief dies, in a sense everything else dies along with it.
Right now our world’s sleigh is almost crashing. Our world can only depend on science for so much, just as the engine in Santa's sleigh can only pull so much of the weight - faith has to carry the rest. Predictions of hurricanes and natural disasters can only get us so far. Today, people are becoming increasingly divided and losing faith in God. The repercussions are tremendous. I am not implying that the natural disasters were from the upper hand of God, but I do believe in the aftermath there is a message we all ought to listen to.
The spark and controversy this Bible verse created challenges what we think and know about God, science and life in general. After all, isn't God's intent to challenge us? The first thing I ever learned about God is that he will give me challenges, but the way I handle them dictates who I am and what I believe. He never gives you something you cannot handle. Whether it is a prediction, truth or coincidence, the fact of the matter is, it sparked a conversation that was long overdue.
This Bible verse is a challenge for humanity. It is causing us to stop and think about the manner in which we approach adversity. Our world is increasingly self-destructive and, in turn, we lose focus on what is truly important. I firmly believe God is calling on us all to cease negativity and turn to one another and rather work together.
There are arguably more questions than answers when it comes to the current state of affairs, but that is precisely why God calls us into faith. Putting faith in something or someone is hard to do, but it is what makes us who we are. In life, everyone chooses a side, faith or science and we fight to argue who is right and what we believe in.
Whether the Bible verse is a prediction from the sovereign hand of God or pure coincidence, no one will ever know for certain. However, what we do know, is that faith ignites our passion for something bigger than ourselves and we should take that into account going forward."
Keep on keeping on, sis.
The very best,