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The Cone Of Uncertainty

Thursday, September 02, 2010 1:47 PM Comments (13)

My house lies within the cone of uncertainty.  That sounds bad, doesn’t it?

As of this writing, my house on the east end of Long Island is on the western edge of the possible path of Hurricane Earl as it heads up the east coat.

I have been watching it all week and preparing.  I have already begun removing any potential projectiles (anything not strapped down) from my yard and putting them in the garage.I went to the store days ago to stock up on milk and bread before the rush hit. Since I have five children there is no fear any of it will go to waste.

It has been a while for us Islanders, but we have been through this before.  You get prepared and you see what happens.  There are certainly spiritual lessons to be taken from situations like this.  You must be prepared becuase you don’t know when the end will come.  The end will come like a thief in the night.  In a world with ADT alarm systems and Doppler radar, perhaps we forget this sometimes.  We many not have days warning when our end comes like we do with hurricanes. We are not used to surprises any more.

But I was surprised yesterday.  I picked my nine year old boy up from soccer practice yesterday.  He is a born worrier.  Ever since one of his friends told him about the hurricane earlier in the week, he has been worrying about it.  When I picked him up from soccer, the first thing he mentioned was the hurricane.  “What category is it, Dad?”

I assured him that the storm would likely pass us by and we would only have some wind and rain.  Nothing to worry about.

But as I looked at his face in the rear-view mirror, he still looked worried.

“Are you still worried about the storm?”

“No.”

“You still look like something is on your mind.  You know you can tell me anything?  What are you thinking about?”

“Well, ok.  Dad, when there is a new heaven and a new earth, will I still be me?”

“Yes.  You will always be you.”

“When there is a new heaven and a new earth, will there still be storms?”

“Ummm…I don’t know.  But even if there are, I do know there will be nothing to be scared of anymore.”

“If I will still be me when there is a new earth, will I still have curly hair?”

“Ummm.  I am sure you will.”

I realized later that the answer to the last question may not have been what he was looking for.  Once again I find myself in the cone of uncertainty.

Hurricanes you can prepare for, children not so much.

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About Pat Archbold

Pat Archbold
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Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company. Patrick, his wife Terri, and their five children reside in Long Island, N.Y.