Over the last couple of weeks I have seen scores of social media posts talking of people making a clean sweep of their lives -- focusing, refocusing and realigning themselves and their priorities. The pronouncements of intentions have been momentous, and remind me of the kind of tectonic shift that takes place as a result of a massive earthquake.
"At the Earth's surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by shaking and sometimes displacement of the ground. When the epicenter of a large earthquake is located offshore, the seabed may be displaced sufficiently to cause a tsunami. Earthquakes can also trigger landslides, and occasionally volcanic activity." [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthquake]The effect of 2011's 9.0 temblor in Japan was so profound it altered the coastline of the country by 8 feet and actually changed earth's axis by 4 inches, causing the earth to spin a tad faster and shortening our days by just under two seconds. You can't get much more powerful than that!
The devastation in Japan could have been significantly more extreme if the country did not observe vigilant earthquake preparedness. From drills for school children to the Bullet Train's automatic shut-off function to the elaborate precautions and countermeasures planned into architectural design, Japan knows how to cope with the forces that could easily unsettle and topple the small island society.
Are we as prepared for the earthquakes that shake up our own worlds? What happens when we face financial catastrophe, betrayal by a loved one, illness, accident, or even something positive as when our thinking shifts in light of new information or inspiration? Are we thrown into a state of emergency and panic? Or do we move to safety in order to ride out 'the big one', knowing we have done all that we can to equip ourselves to handle just such a situation.
I find when I start my day in quietude, getting in tune with universal good and handling the thoughts and temptations that could potentially cause me to crumble, my days go much more smoothly and I am better able to be a blessing to others.
Things do shift. Nothing stays the same. Not even the composition and orbit of the earth. It is how we handle the shifts and changes that makes the difference in our 'world'. So let's invest in that ounce of prevention and preparation. It will be well worth it when the continental plates of our lives begin to shift beneath us.