Latitude 23.3 north, longitude 75.5 west.
It’s just a tiny little spot on the globe, holding no significance whatsoever until August 23, 2005. It was on that day at that spot (about 175 miles southeast of the Bahamas) that some storm clouds bumped into each other and formed the very beginning of what would eventually become Hurricane Katrina. Experts say that as she churned across the Gulf of Mexico in the following days, she produced energy equivalent to one hundred thousand atomic bombs.* Is it any wonder we saw such devastation?
Big things often have humble beginnings. Like the Oscar-winning actor whose first leading role was in a grade school play. Or the Grammy-winning jazz musician who first became aware of the music when he heard a John Coltrane recording on the radio.
Of course, the ultimate example would be Jesus’ birth. His arrival in this world was so quiet and inconspicuous that people in the nearby inn were completely oblivious. Imagine his first cries. I doubt that they were loud enough to carry beyond the sheep pen where his mother and father were hunkered down. Yet, from that same voice box would eventually come words that would alter the course of history.
Never underestimate a humble beginning.
Right now, spending some regular devotional time with God might register pretty low on your list of priorities. Perhaps this is the first devotion you’ve read in ages. That would make this moment a beginning of sorts, wouldn’t it? At least it could be a beginning if you decided right here and now to make personal time with God a regular event in your life.
Who knows where it could lead? If two clouds bumping together could produce Hurricane Katrina, what would happen if you and God “bumped into each other” on a regular basis?
For further reflection read Zechariah 4:8-10
*Ivor Van Heerden, The Storm (New York:Viking 2006), 13