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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Falling shark San Juan Capistrano California

Flying objects are a common hazard on a golf course. The purpose of crying
out
"Fore!" is to warn golfers ahead that a small white ball may be coming in
their
direction. Sometimes golf clubs are even seen flying about (though this is
not
the intent of the game).

But what golfer expects a shark to fall from the sky? That unexpected event
actually occurred this past Monday in San Juan Capistrano, California.

You may be thinking, "I've heard of that place." Yes, San Juan Capistrano
has
been famous for the annual return of migratory swallows, though recent years
have seen a decline in the numbers of these birds. Now this spot on the
Pacific
coast will be known for another event. A two-foot-long leopard shark fell
out
of the sky close to the tee on the 12th hole.

No one saw what happened, but the best speculation suggests a large
migratory
bird lost its grip on its prize catch of the day. Quick action by the
course
marshal enabled the shark to be returned to the ocean alive.

Life is filled with unexpected events. Relatives drop in without calling.
Cars
have a way of breaking down when we most need them. Accidents are by
definition
interruptions of our planned schedules. If one thing is predictable about
life
it is that life is unpredictable.

Jesus told of a farmer who was caught by surprise. The man had just
experienced
the best year ever for his farm, and was considering his future. "So he
said,
'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I
will
store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have
many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be
merry"'"
(Luke 12:18,19).

But that night the man's life would end, Jesus said. All of the earthly
bliss
he anticipated would pass on to someone else. "So is he who lays up
treasure
for himself, and is not rich toward God," Jesus concluded (Luke 12:21).

Was this farmer's death unexpected? The answer is Yes, but it is also No.
There was nothing to suggest that he was knocking on death's door. His
health
was good; he apparently was in the prime of his life. He seemed to expect a
long future. But, as we have come to see, death is always near. How often
we've heard of accidents, illnesses that appear out of nowhere and violence
that
ambushes the unsuspecting. "The unexpected" is a visitor to every community
in
the world.

Ecclesiastes is a book of observations about life. Those observations are
often
gloomy: "He who digs a pit will fall into it, and whoever breaks through a
wall
will be bitten by a serpent. He who quarries stones may be hurt by them,
and he
who splits wood may be endangered by it" (Ecclesiastes 10:8,9). Who can
anticipate such things? We're caught by surprise.

But one thing should not catch us by surprise, and that's the fact that the
unexpected is bound to occur. That makes this admonition so appropriate:
"Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth before the difficult
days
come ..." (Ecclesiastes 12:1). We can prepare for the unexpected!

Timothy D. Hall

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