First of all, November is National Novel Writing Month, and there is a month-long competition to celebrate. In an insane marathon of writing, participants attempt to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in thirty days. There may be a prize, but I'm not sure. One thing is certain, writing a novel in thirty days, of any quality, is a remarkable feat.
There's another thing that's certain. I've never written fiction before. I signed up anyway. Somehow, between now and November 1st, I have to at least think of a topic for my novel. I'm hoping to have an opening line. I never write with a plan, so if I can think of an opening line, I'll just see where the word processor takes me. Lest you forget, I have two other books I'm writing. It's a frivolous, unlikely project, but I plan to give it a serious try.
I have another project that is not at all frivolous. For years, I've been concerned about the direction our nation is heading. The recent double-threat of ISIS and Ebola have only deepened my concern. When I received the email from CRI announcing their upcoming "Communities of Refuge" course, I seriously considered it. Today, I sent in my application.
Here's the course objective:
"This week covers skills pertinent to helping communities prepare for mass scale disaster and preparing places of refuge practically. We bridge the gap between crisis response and long term community development. Topics are Water Purification, Sanitation, Community Development, Food Security, Preparing your Facility, and Rebuilding Cities."
The thought of a serious disaster in my town makes me heartsick, but mass scale disasters do sometimes happen, and the only way for a community to survive and thrive is for the local leaders to be prepared. As an alderman, I'm one of those local leaders who need to be prepared. I have mixed feelings about the training. I don't want to need the information, but it would be worse to need the training and not have it, so I will go.
This evening, I was praying about the mess we are in and the direction we are headed. "Lord, isn't there anything we can do?" As soon as I asked that question, I realized I already knew the answer.
"If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14 NASB)
It is not the lost people, the unchurched people, who are the problem. It is God's people. We are the problem, but we are also the solution. If we do what God says, humbling ourselves, repenting, turning from our wickedness, praying, God will hear and heal our land. If there was ever a time when our land needed healing, it is now. Oh, dear people of God, we need to do what only we can do, repenting, turning, humbling, praying.
It is the only hope in a dark and trying time. Let us consider our own role in recovery. Where should my repentance come, where my turning, my humbling, my praying? Time is short. Let's get started.