Friday, May 14, 2010

A Whole Lot of Shaking Goin' On!

Earthquakes. Seems to be a lot of 'em lately. Haiti. Chili. Elsewhere. Some folk seem to point to them as "signs of the end times". And, hey, we're getting close to December 2012 so why wouldn't they become concerned. (No, I do NOT believe the world is ending in 2012, contrary to what the History Channel reports. Nor do I study history itself via the History Channel. Somewhat of a misnomer there, in my opinion.)

Back to earthquakes.

Did you know that on the average, the world experiences fifteen earthquakes annually of a magnitude of 7.0 to 7.9?

And another statistic? On the average the earth experiences 13,000 earthquakes annually of 4.0 to 4.9 magnitude.

So for those who are hopping on the bandwagon of "signs", please be advised that recent earthquakes are within the "norm". All this shaken and rollin' is ongoing phenonema. The recent occurances are still within the average in terms of frequency and intensity.

When these earthquakes strike in areas of high populations (Haiti) the news media (and we) sit up and take notice. As well we should! But when they occur in relatively unpopulated areas, we really do not make a bit fuss of it.

It's fascinating. You can read about earthquakes at the USGS website here. And you can do the same here.

I noticed that there was an earthquake yesterday of 1.5 a mere 15 miles from our old residence in California. I'll bet my old neighbors there are totally unaware for who ever feels or worries about a 1.5 on the Richter scale?

Checking the maps at the second website listed above, I found that the area around Oklahoma City experienced two earthquakes just last week. One measured in at 2.0; the other was at 2.5. I don't remember seeing either in the news. Perhaps locals read it in their morning papers.

At the first site listed above, you will see that there are about 1,300,000 earthquakes worldwide every year in the size range of the Oklahoma earthquake. If we average that out to a weekly figure, we see that there are approximately 25,000 earthquakes of this size somewhere in the world every week!

Having said all of the above...as a believer, we are supposed to keep our heads up, our ears open, our thinking clear, in terms of what is happening all around us and in terms of what Jesus spoke to the disciples concerning the end times. However, don't jump to the conclusion that an earthquake such as that which occurred in Haiti, one with such intensity and with such destruction in terms of human life, is a "sign". That earthquake, with its sad attendant loss of lives, is still within the "norm" for Planet Earth.

And in terms of some TV "prophet" telling you that the "end is near", remember that Jesus told His disciples that "only the Father knows".

And in looking at that (that only the Father knows), I believe it is my job as a Christian to go about my business, do the work set before me, take the steps for today, and get on with life. To delve into speculation is to allow myself to get caught up in conjecturing instead of being caught up in what Jesus commanded us to do...which is to love God and to love our fellow man. We do that by going about the business of living, and not by making charts and predictions and worrying ad infinitum.

Hoping you are having an earthquake-free day, both in terms of geology and life events.

Blessings to ya!

P.S. "Ad infinitum" is a Latin phrase meaning "to infinity." In context, it usually means "continue forever, without limit"

3 comments:

Diane said...

This really is related - bear with me. There's an old LucasArts sim game (yes, the SW Lucas) called Afterlife, where you build cities in both heaven and hell, based on the seven virtues/deadly sins. Heaven was powered by...Ad Infinitum Siphons.

While I'm not among the sign diviners, I do think we're rapidly heading toward the end, based on societal changes. What interesting times we live in...we certainly need to be always ready to witness, keep short accounts with God, be ready - but as you said, continue with our daily lives.

Mine involves some cake, soon...

Whidbey Woman said...

I don't understand this mindset that the world will end in 2012 when God's word says we will not know the hour that he comes again, like a theif in the night.
But, I agree with Diane that we are headed toward the end times. The Holy Spirit is stirring this in the hearts of christians everywhere... an heightened awareness of the events taking place. We need to be ready. We need to put on the full armour of God. Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

Kelly said...

I have several earthquake sites bookmarked. Fascinating stuff. I live closest to the New Madrid fault (but still fairly far away). If (when?) another one hits that faultline like the one in the early 1800s, it will devastate Memphis.