Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Cone of Uncertainty

All of us recognize the radar-based imagery of a hurricane path. As meteorologists track a hurricane, they chart their best educated guess in the form of an ascending cone that broadens ever wider to the north; they call this "the cone of uncertainty," indicating their uncertainty about the storm’s precise path. They are certain that the storm will come, but uncertain as to its precise time or its precise location.

Yesterday Judy and I made a quip trip to East Texas because the cone of uncertainty indicated a strong possibility that Hurricane Ike would blow right through Cherokee county as a Category One hurricane. That means that our house there is directly within the storm’s predicted path. For about an hour and a half we did all we could to prepare for the storm; in Naval terms, we "battened down the hatches." I retied all ropes to my boat and barge, removed potential projectiles near glass – rocking chairs, planters, tables, etc. Once we did all we could to prepare for the storm, we clicked on the television to get an update from The Weather Channel. Originally, we planned to stay through the storm, but the National Weather Service remained unchanged in its prediction that the cone of uncertainty included Cherokee County. So there was only one thing left to do–head back to Dallas and protect our lives. After all, we have insurance.

Life itself is a cone of uncertainty. We know neither when nor where, but we do know that, eventually and inevitably, the storms will come. The hard rain will fall, the torrential floods will rise, the harsh winds will howl, hurricanes will hurl their wrath, tornadoes will spin their fury. The best we can do is prepare ourselves for the inevitable storms with insurance of every kind–hospitalization, life, auto, flood, etc. But insurance has no clause for sorrow, no rider for agony, and no provision for emotional distress and spiritual trial caused by those kinds of storms that weathermen and radar can neither predict nor track: financial difficulty, aging parents, sickness, marital strife, mental illness, gross sin, a rebellious child, and death.

Of course, every astute reader anticipates my conclusion–No cone of uncertainty threatens the home built upon the Rock.


Hal Brunson said...

Very interesting . . . if it weren't for guns, we'd be British . . .

Shane said...

That's a loaded statement, isn't it?