Guest Op-Ed: Losing Everything, What or Who Is Important?

Dr. Glenn Mollette 

What or who is important to you? The recent devastating flood in eastern Kentucky reminds us all that life can be swept away in a moment. Hundreds of families lost everything. One family lost their house and everything in it but lost their family – four children ages less than two up through eight were swept away by the raging flood. One woman who had also lost her house and everything in the house stated she and her family were alive and that’s all that mattered. 

None of us want to lose our houses and everything we’ve worked for most of our lives. However, it’s all junk in comparison to our children and loved ones. 

From the fires of California to the floods of eastern Kentucky to the devastation of Ukraine by Russia, Loss and devastation can come to us all. We don’t want loss. We recoil from natural disasters, invaders or diminishing health. 

It takes a lifetime to pay for a house. Today, cars are often financed five years and more. People work hard to accumulate a few things. Little children, spouses and aging parents are not easy to come by. Most of the time we take everything we have for granted. When the floods of life literally wash away all that we have and love, the loss is horrific. 

We really don’t know the full extent of how painful loss is until we have lost it all. Recent flood victims in eastern Kentucky essentially lost it all. Many literally escaped with only the shirts on their backs. 

Cancer can eat away at our lives. Other forms of diminishing health can take us down to nothing. Financial losses can make us miserable. A fire can destroy everything. Life can change and in a moment. 

Sometimes we have warnings that life is on the way to changing. When it rains, we don’t automatically think the water will become so deep that we will all drown. Some people in eastern Kentucky will never be able to enjoy a long night of rain because of what it may bring. 

Overall, people would like to live out their lives quietly and safely. Avoiding floods, fires and other life-threatening crises. Food to eat, something to wear and the enjoyment of people we love are most meaningful to us. 

In the middle of life’s devastations, we often look to God and ask why? If he is really so great, so good, and so loving then why would he send or allow eight or nine inches of rain to fall on the hollers of eastern Kentucky and sweep away little children? Did he go to sleep? Does he not care?  Is he detached from what happens in the world? Is he really out there?  Yet, as many grieve, they will fall upon God as he is all they have left to get them through. An old saint of God who suffered through the storms of life once said, “I didn’t realize God was all I needed until God was all I had. 

Whatever or whoever you have today, don’t take it or them for granted. Be grateful, give thanks. Love on your loved ones and be kind to all. Consider taking some of your stuff and giving it to someone who may have nothing. It will be good for you both.

Glenn Mollette is the publisher of Newburgh Press, Liberty Torch and various other publishing imprints; a national columnist –  American Issues and Common Sense opinions, analysis, stories and features appear each week In over 500 newspapers, websites and blogs across the United States.

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