As selective chroniclers of Life on the World of the Cross, we tend to avoid the endless stream of natural and unnatural catastrophes that afflict Urantia. But when an event changes the tilt of the entire planet and even the length of a year … well.
Unless you’re able to force yourself to go there, it’s practically impossible to wrap your thinking around the fact that more than ten thousand people who were busy with their daily routines suddenly found themselves with less than fifteen minutes of life left on Urantia. No matter how you care to look at it, that’s an abrupt transition.
Temporal life on the evolutionary worlds of time and space is uncertain. A lot of us die before ever getting around to making decisions about what our mortality means. But when we’re able to witness the plight of our fellows on the other side of the world with such startling immediacy and clarity, we have an opportunity to look at our own mortality— to re-evaluate our relationship with all mankind; to make a leap in our moral maturity— both as an individual, and as a race.
Mature human beings tend to look upon all other mortals with emotions of tolerance and with feelings of tenderness. Mature people view immature folks with the love and consideration that parents bear their children. But it requires the lure of a great ideal to drive man on in the pursuit of a goal which is beset with difficult material problems and manifold intellectual hazards.
And when we do get around to acknowledging our difficulties in understanding life, it inevitably entails the reduction of long-cherished conceits, even the abandonment of deep-seated prejudices. Still, the average person prefers to cling to the old illusions of safety, and to their long-cherished but transparently false feelings of security. Only a brave person is willing honestly to admit, and fearlessly to face, what a sincere and logical mind discovers.
The particularly onerous aspects of the current catastrophe are still unfolding. No one knows just what impact they will ultimately have on us as individuals, especially those of us who are thousands of miles from the epicenter of this tragedy. We should give a compassionate sayonara to the many thousands of victims of the quake and its attendant, deadly consequences. But we should also pause to consider the fragility of our own mortal existence, and finally get around to asking those eternally significant, soul-searching questions that lead us to greater insight into the true human condition, and our spiritual destiny.