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Life in real time

My love for news  began at an early age.  My mom subscribed to the daily newspaper and I remember reading the paper from the time I was in junior high.

I was the one, most mornings, that would walk out to the drive way to get the paper and take off the rubber band and begin reading the headlines before reaching the front door.  I was enamored with the news.  Of course, newspapers  look at events that happened in the past.

In the 80’s, Ted Turner began a news organization that has changed the face of reporting the news.  By the time the 90’s came, news was happening more and more in real time.  Usually after a major news event, pictures and video were available shortly.

Fast forward to March 2011.  This morning I woke up to my usual routine.  After making coffee, I turned on the TV to watch the headlines on CNN.  They were already reporting a major earthquake had hit Japan.  Shortly, I began watching the reports and CNN began showing a helicopter following a tsunami.

The images were incredible.  Floating houses on fire, boats, cars, and other things floating inland to unsuspecting people.  I watched the tsunami roll into a village.  I saw people stuck in a traffic jam, trying to outrun the tsunami.  I watched the tsunami overtake a couple of cars.

I thought about all those people who were probably in their homes, offices, etc who had no idea that a tsunami was coming.  I saw video of an airport completely underwater and people stranded on the top of the building, completely surrounded by water.  Another image of two people on the top floor of their home, waving white sheets trying to catch the eye of the helicopter as it flew by.

At the moment I am seeing huge ships lying on their sides in places where they should not be.  None of these people probably woke up expecting this magnitude of damage to their lives.  There is no way to tell how many people may have died at this time.

A catastrophic event like this causes me to think about the frailty of life.  We are only here on this earth for a whisper of time.  I wonder how many of us are prepared spiritually for an event like this.  I wonder how many of them were ready?

Sitting here watching this event happen in real time causes me to reflect on the “journalist” in me.  Do I really want to see tsunamis overtake cars and homes?  It’s one thing to see it in a movie and know it isn’t real… but this was life in real time.

 

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