This past weekend we experienced another tragedy with the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Again, we are left numb with grief.
How did this happen? Why would someone do such a horrible thing? What drove this man to such despicable acts of violence and hate? What was he trying to prove?
Living in the shadow of the UT Tower, these are questions that are very real to us, and we know that this sort of horrible event will likely occur again someday.
This sort of terrible occurrence brings us face to face with our own contingency. In spite of all our schedules, plans, preparations, and intentions, there is NO guarantee that any of us will be here tomorrow. Some senseless act of violence, some random act of terrorism, some inattention by another driver, some freak accident, may instantly end our life.
This realization reminds us that we are NOT in control. This realization reminds us that every day is a gift. This realization reminds us not to put off the really important things of reminding our loved ones of our love and of thanking God for the gift of life. This realization helps convince us to keep the small things small. This realization reminds us of the more important bigger issues of gratitude and appreciation. This realization is, ultimately, not a downer, but a gift.
We pray for all the victims: the victims of recent natural disasters, the victims of war, the victims of terrorism, and the victims of senseless tragedies like occurred this past week in Las Vegas. We know that we too so easily can be added to the list of victims. Let us also pray for ourselves, for the wisdom to take to heart the beautiful and precious gift of life. October is pro-life month. Let us pray for a greater appreciation of all life from conception to natural death. And let us enjoy the great gift that we have.