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Story: Misguided Peace

Jason screeched the jeep to a halt in front of the mansion. Even over his engine he could hear the jovial music and merry making. He leaped out of the car, not a moment to lose.

“I need everyone to head for shelter–the volcano is erupting soon!” he shouted.

Someone grabbed him by the arm. “Excuse me, sir, but would you mind keeping it down? You’ll disturb the guests.”

Jason stared at the man in bewilderment. “That’s the idea! They need disturbed. Did you hear what I said? The volcano is erupting soon–everyone needs to get out of here right now.”

The man just smiled. “They’ll be time to deal with that later. Right now, we’re enjoying life. And if you don’t watch it,” he added gruffly, “I’ll see you get put out of the way. I’m in the middle of closing a very lucrative business deal.” The man rubbed his hands together gleefully as he spoke.

As if that will matter if the volcano gets you, Jason thought to himself, as he hurried on. He kept shouting his warning, but to his surprise, no one paid much attention.

“I don’t believe in volcanoes,” one young lady informed him with a rebellious shake of her head. “If you do, that’s fine, but don’t force your beliefs on others.”

Jason shook his head. “You don’t understand–I’m not trying to force anything on you. I’m trying to get you safe. If you don’t leave this area, you will die, whether you believe in volcanoes or not.”

“As I said, I don’t believe in them. I think we’re all just supposed to be kind to one another, and then everyone will be okay.”

“But–” the lady had already walked off before Jason could reply.

After many similar interchanges, Jason finally jumped back in his jeep and drove on to find others to warn. He simply had to try to tell as many people as he could before it was too late! How they responded–well, that he couldn’t control.

Jason pulled his jeep to a halt in front of a large “Volcano Shelter” sign. The whole area looked like a massive construction zone, as men and women labored to reinforce an enormous concrete building.

“The volcano is erupting soon–you guys need to flee!” Jason called through his window.

“Flee? You mean work harder!” a woman with a wheelbarrow full of bricks replied. “We’ve been working and working on this shelter my whole life. If we just keep working, it will hold us through the volcano.”

Jason examined the impressive-looking shelter. For a moment, he thought maybe the woman was right–it did look well built. And these people, unlike the ones at the mansion, were at least trying to prepare for the coming catastrophe. But then he shook his head. He knew the volcano would obliterate everything in its path–whether a mansion or a fabulous shelter. The only way to safety was to leave the little island.

“Ma’am, this structure won’t hold. You have to leave the island–and you have to do it now!”

The woman held herself up to her full height. “What do you mean it won’t hold? We’ve been working hard, I tell you, unlike those frolicking fools over there.” The woman tossed her head knowingly in the direction of the mansion.

“It just won’t hold–the volcano will destroy everything in its path. Come, leave the island, and you’ll be safe.”

“Humph! And leave behind all I’ve worked for? I think not! You, sir, should not be so narrow-minded. There’s more than one way to prepare for this volcano.”

Jason sighed. “I’m not meaning to be narrow-minded. I just want to warn you of the danger. There is only one way to safety–and that’s to leave this island. Everything on it will be destroyed.”

“How do you know that?” the woman snapped.

“I have it on good word. The manual…”

“Aw, there’s more than one way to interpret that, even if you believe it’s error-free,” replied the woman.

“Even if? Ma’am, that manual has predicted hundreds of things accurately. This very island bears within it evidence of a flood that ties with what the manual says happened. Plus, we can see evidence of the volcano getting ready to explode that ties with what the manual says will happen. And as for interpretation, it’s pretty clear. The problem is that people keep twisting it because they don’t want to hear what it says.”

The woman shook her head. “Look, I believe the manual is a good book. But it’s foolish not to do what we can to prepare for the volcano.”

“Exactly! That’s why you must leave. If you believe it’s a good book, you should follow what it says…”

“I’m trying!”

“But it says to flee, not to try.”

The woman shook her head despairingly and with a loud, “Humph!” turned back to her work. She was too busy building her own volcano shelter to take the way of escape already offered to her. How could she turn her back on all she’d accomplished and admit she was no better off than the people over in the mansion?

Jason found himself fighting back tears. Would no one listen? Would they insist on either clinging to the cares and fun of life or vainly trying to make their own provision for safety instead of taking the one offered to them at tremendous cost? The king’s own son had died to provide a way of escape from the volcano…oh, that more people would listen and respond before it was too late!

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:3

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6

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