Did you happen to see the information NASA released about an asteroid that passed close to the Earth Tuesday? If this asteroid had hit the Earth, it would have caused a 4,000 megaton blast and a magnitude 7.0 earthquake. If it had hit the ocean, it could have caused a 70-foot high tsunami for 60 miles. Scientists and the media were quick to assure people that the asteroid, known as 2005 YU55, posed no actual threat because it would miss us by 202,000 miles, eight-tenths the distance to the moon. For us, 202,000 miles may seem like a long way, but it is a “near miss” to scientists, a miss the likes of which they haven’t seen since 1976.
I imagine many people went through Tuesday without ever hearing about or caring about this asteroid. For most of us, the threat wasn’t perceived as real. On the other hand, if the scientific community had said the asteroid would impact the Earth, I imagine that the reaction would have been quite different! What would you have done differently? Where would you have gone? Join the looters? Perhaps time alone contemplating life?
Chapters 13 and 14 in the Gospel of Mark show that Jesus knew his last moments on the Earth were coming. He chose to use that time in prayer and sharing final thoughts about the Kingdom with His disciples. He encouraged them, taught them, and prayed with and for them. After Jesus was raised from the dead, He continued to encourage and teach them. Jesus never abandoned His faith or wavered in His resolve to do the will of the Father – no matter the circumstances.
We cannot control external forces, only our reactions to them. Your next challenge might be on its way…how will you react? Whether illness, injury, or a giant rock speeding through space at 129,000 mph, how will you spend your days? Like Ezekiel 33, we who are on watch have a responsibility to announce the danger of sin. What will give you hope in those last moments? Jesus is the one, true hope.