Modern science is committed to figuring out where natural disasters come from, with the goal of eventually mastering them. I wonder how you master a massive volcano with all its forces unleased from far beneath earth’s surface? How do you turn the course of a hurricane bearing down on a major city? Could such ideas border on arrogance? I wonder.
The book of James reminds us we cannot even master our little tongues, which have occasional explosive tendencies that can alter the human landscape around us by clouding up issues and potentially destroying each others’ emotional and spiritual well-being. That, for most of us, is a lifetime work. The larger lesson for us is to master our own nature with the help of God. We cannot control natural disasters, but we have a chance to control some of our own human “disasters,. God help us do that.