"Tout passe, tout lasse, tout casse."
The above is a French expression when translated into English means: "Everything passes, everything wears out, everything breaks."
Just think about that for a moment. Computers crash, cars give it up, washers and dryers give out, furniture and clothing wear out. The reality of things wearing out is a fact of life that applies to absolutely everything, including our bodies and our ability to function and to sustain life on our planet.
The good news is that much of the aforementioned can be repaired or replaced. There was a time when failure of our vital organs meant sure death, but today even those can be replaced thanks to modern medicine and technology.
The bad news is that the world in which we live is showing signs of breaking down and wearing out, to the point that if we are not careful, it may be beyond repair. Our efforts to save our environment may well prove to be too little, too late. Oh sure, we can pay lip-service to buying time and cleaning up our act, but it will take much more than good intentions.
The recent devastating tragedy in Haiti is just one more indication that our world is in trouble. Combine that with other major earth quakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, global warming and the troubling melting of our northern icecap and you need little more evidence.
The scary part of all this is that up to now, we in this part of the world have been relatively lucky in that we have escaped the devastating disasters experienced in other parts of the globe. I don't think that I am alone in worrying that we are living on borrowed time. Realistically, there is danger of the law of averages catching up with us sooner or later.
There is another concern too and it is that we have been using up the Earth's resources to improve our lives, while our children and grandchildren will be forced to live in a deteriorating environment that endangers their existence. We have gobbled up natural resources and services assuming that they were free and would always be available to us. It is now absolutely essential that our current generation changes its ways, otherwise continuing consumption will undermine the very ability for the ecosystems to provide the goods and services we need. Poorer countries where people are dying of thirst, hunger and disease, are already paying the price in this regard, and will continue to do so.
So what can you and I do about all of this? As a society we cannot give up striving for a new (repaired) world without natural catastrophes, without sickness, without crying, without pain. Granted, our current world IS passing away, but who's to say that it cannot be repaired or replaced?
We CAN begin this very day to reverse the damage that has been done in our world. We CAN be proactive and give priority to early warning and detection measures. We CAN motivate our politicians and we CAN do our own small part to conserve and adjust our own lifestyles.
We CAN weep with those who weep. We CAN feed the hungry. We CAN heal the sick. We CAN find justice for orphans and widows and the vulnerable of the world. We CAN minister grace at every opportunity without blame or censure.
And when we cannot be physically involved, we CAN do what my 18-year-old grandson did last week --donate his own savings to a Haiti relief fund.
We CAN also pray...a lot!
And we CAN enjoy and make the best of each day, being thankful for our many blessings. While we are at it, we CAN give somebody a hug -- just because.