Well, another month has rolled around and tonight’s post is once again from Dallas, where I make a trip every month to see one of my clients. It’s been more than 5 years now and so, although I have not kept exact count, I think this is something like trip number 65. I’m not such a good traveller when I don’t know where I am going or how to get there, but for sure, this trip is almost something I could do in my sleep. And I like the predictability of it.
I usually pack on Sunday evening and take my time with breakfast on Monday morning. Then, about 9:30 am, off to the airport to valet parking. Once inside the airport, I head through security and then look forward to seeing Yaba, the shoe shine guy I have come to know throughout the years. If I’m lucky, I get upgraded to first class and, voila, 2 hours later I arrive at Dallas Fort Worth Airport. Bren, who owns a cab service, has already made arrangements with me, picks me up and we head to the office. Oh, Bren always has a cold bottle of water for me, and I usually pick up a sandwich when I get to the office.
The afternoon is filled with work; meetings, phone conferences and recaps of the previous month’s performance. Then it’s off to dinner and back to the hotel for writing my post and catching up on work for my other clients around the country. Tuesday mornings are dedicated to finishing the work in the office and then, around 11:00 am, Bren drops by and picks me up for the return trip to the DFW. Back on the plane and, God willing, a safe trip back to Indy. That’s the way it all normally happens – as you can tell, pretty predictable and since I don’t even have a car, I tend to stick around the hotel. In fact, where I stay, there is actually a fence around the property, so they obviously don’t encourage the guests to go roaming the neighborhood at night.
But last month, things changed for the first time in more than 5 years. Because Dallas is the epicenter of the West Nile Virus in the United States. There have been warnings issued about not going out at dawn or dusk when the mosquitos are heaviest. Also, people are encouraged to stay inside unless it is necessary to go out and the news broadcasts are quick to suggest that people wear long slacks and long sleeved shirts to minimize the chance of insect bites.
In fact, the whole thing is a little bizarre. More than 30 people in Dallas have died from the West Nile virus and many others have experienced severe illness. There have already been more than 215 cases reported in Louisiana alone. So it was a little surreal last month when in the middle of the night, I could hear the crop duster type planes flying over the city with their loads of insect killers. One station, as I recall, indicated that the city was spraying DDT to kill mosquitos in stagnant pools of water. The hurricane season and the wet areas holding pools of water have contributed greatly to the problem.
To be honest about it, I have never really been in a real life situation like this before. Of course, I have heard about the plagues that have caused great disease and destruction throughout the ages, but never in modern times and certainly not in a city that I visit each and every month. And to actually hear the planes spraying in the middle of the night was a little out of the ordinary, to say the least.
As I sit here writing, I recall that when I was a little kid on the south side of Chicago, I seem to remember that sometimes trucks sprayed for mosquitos in the early evening, but I never remember the concern over an outbreak of human illness the way they are talking in Dallas. In fact, there have now been cases of the virus as far north as Indiana, but nothing like it is here.
I can’t help but be reminded of the power of God and how the Egyptians were consumed by various plagues due to their unwillingness to let the people of God leave. There were plagues of locusts, frogs, boils and all kinds of things that are almost beyond belief. But living through the concerns here in Dallas just begins to shed a little light for me on how God could completely impact an entire city or nation just by introducing any sort of plague. In the story of the people of God and their attempt to leave Egypt, Pharaoh finally released Moses to lead the people across the desert.
Tonight’s verse is from Exodus 9:13-16, after God tells Moses, “Get up early in the morning, confront Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: … for by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth. But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
My encouragement this evening it to let you know that we serve an awesome God and He will defend His people from all adversaries – just like He did in the Old Testament. My prayer is that you will take a moment to thank our Heavenly Father for His protection and for His love of us. We may not still be living in Old Testament times, but God remains constant – for He was, He is and He always will be the God of all Creation. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace..