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Hurricanes have gone but political winds are blowing

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Within the last six weeks, that gusty quartet comprised of Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne has lustily serenaded Florida. A repeat performance is not in the foreseeable forecast - I hope.

It is not that I do not appreciate good music; it is because I do appreciate good music that I do not wish for a comeback of this quartet. The problem this quartet had, which many musical groups have, is they usually try to drown out the other ones in the group.

The damage in life and property during these last six weeks is beyond computation. The government has put a price on the damage but they are only guessing at this point, plus they do not factor in the horrendous damage to the human spirit.

Not a few people will leave Florida to some safer, hurricane-free state (like Washington), leaving the rest of us to weather the storms in the future. As for my wife and me, Florida is our prelude to heaven. The angels that will carry me to "Abraham's Bosom" already have my address and, the good Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I'll be right here when they make their angelic appearance. I just hope they are not as noisy as the quartet we've had lately.

These storms were devastating to be sure and my prayers go to all the hurricane victims, whatever their damage in life and property. I'm sure many stories of heroism will emerge from the rubble of these disasters.

In spite of all modern technology and gadget sophistication, we bow in reverence to nature in the face of a hurricane. This is an encouragement for all to look higher than man for help in troubled times. Some do not know who that "Higher Power" is, but I surely do.

As the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and Yours Truly huddled by the kerosene lantern, listening to the hurricane howl outside, a thought from the Bible gently blew into my inquiring mind. "The Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet." (Nahum 1:3 KJV.)

No matter how bad it looks, God always has His way in every circumstance or problem, which brings a lot of comfort to me during these traumatic days.

Then I entertained a marvelous thought. The next time one of my friends makes a snide remark to the effect of my being long-winded, I will only say one word - Charley-Frances-Ivan-Jeanne, or CFIJ, for short.

I grant you, I have plenty of wind, as the length of my sermons will attest, but compared to hurricanes like CFIJ, I cannot blow out a candle. My friends will have to accede this point to me.

Although, contrary to some opinion, no link exists between a hurricane and me, I think I did find a suitable comparison. In my mind, the only thing to measure up to a hurricane in velocity is a politician.

Say what you will, and I'm sure you will, there is no wind, foul or otherwise, quite to equal a politician in full stride. Fortunately for us here in Florida, the hurricane quartet has only prepared us for the blustery political weather ahead, as politicians look toward us with an envious eye.

Forget "hanging chads," let's hang any politician who thinks we hang on his every word.

I hate putting CFIJ in bad company, but a politician is like a hurricane in several regards.

First, a hurricane can be sighted a good long ways away, and at a distance looks quite harmless. The weathermen predict the path of the hurricane but not with any degree of certainty. At the last minute, depending on which way the wind is blowing, a hurricane can wobble to the right or to the left.

This is exactly true with politicians. The farther away they are the more harmless they appear. In fact, I'm in favor of a constitutional amendment of some sorts dictating elected politicians may not leave Washington, D.C., until they do something good or their term expires.

Then, when their term terminates they should be out-sourced to some country, any country that will have them. I can't think of any right now but progress is being made on outer space travel.

Secondly, I've noticed hurricanes always do more damage then first expected. A hurricane has no respect for people or property; it just goes through any area it chooses.

This is also true of politicians. No matter what they promise, it always costs (guess who) more than expected. Every politician has only one goal in view - taxes, which is quite taxing on the public's pocketbook.

If a politician was so concerned about taxes, he or she would not vote for their own pay raises every year.

Without respect of people or property, the politician goes through the land, spouting off as though anyone, meaning me, cares much about what he is saying at the time. My only concern is cleaning up after the storm passes.

As the storm began to quiet some, I pondered this even more. Two scriptures brought great comfort to my mind, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.

"For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." (Malachi 3:6 KJV.) And, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8 KJV.)

Storms (both nature and political) come and go, but Jesus Christ remains the same.

About the Author

Rev. James L. Snyder is an award winning author and popular columnist living in Ocala, Fl with his wife Martha


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