I turned on the tv early in the morning on Friday to find out if there were any updates about the 8.9 earthquake that had hit Japan. On my phone there were some alerts about a tsunami, that word alone brings with it too much personal sadness and confusion.

The images coming from the screen were frightening. There was a tsunami and it brought with it, once again, death and destruction.

The ones with faith in God instantly began questioning his reasons – we cannot understand why things like this occur. The ones with power began to preach the answers that they themselves understood – “We must repent.” Just like the dudes on the corner of 34th St and 7th Ave in NYC and countless other street corners and religious leaders of all religions do when confronted with the unanswerable.

Most natural disasters are exacerbated by man. New Orleans is a city built below sea level and when Katrina came to town she easily engulfed it. San Francisco keeps being built up amid warnings of earthquakes and fault lines  – “The Big One” has been predicted for many years. Haiti is a poverty stricken island – when the 7.0 earthquake came last year everything just came down.

God created this world.

God gave man freedom of choice.

In most cases man has made the choice of power and greed over selflessness and humanity. Politicians have taken the monies which could have fortified the levees in New Orleans, the homes and buildings in Haiti and so, so many other urgent causes – only to portion those monies towards their own agenda.

Murderers with a twisted view on religion blow themselves up in the name of their God. The other day these cold blooded murderers broken into a home in Israel and slashed the throats of 5 family members. September 11, countless suicide bombers and mortars – aimed at innocent civilians, Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, and so many more.

All of this is man’s choice.

The world is a very unstable place to visit – and we are forced to live here at this point in time. So what am I getting at here? Stop listening to the celebrity preachers pointing fingers and judging anyone who goes through a catastrophe. Stop listening to these Super Preachers create answers where no answers can be found.

There are a lot of times in my life when I question whether God is on vacation or just taking a nap – eventually once the dust settles we realize that some things are out of his control. Alot of the choices are given to us.

All we can do is try to fortify ourselves, our homes, our cities and our countries. Put the money where the money can make this world a better, safer place to live. And live our lives with the goal of making this world a better place to live.

Charity begins at home. Start within your own house, work your way outside and then just pass it forward. Do the right thing not because you are scared you might be punished or because others will see you as someone special. Do the right things because you know how good it feels inside to make a difference for even one minute in one persons life.

You want a lesson on life? You want answers? Look within – you may not see if clearly at first – but the blurriness will sharpen if you stay true to the big picture.

There are no “One Religion”; there are no “One set of laws”; there are no “One people.” Respect each other. Be true to yourself and do unto others as you’d have done unto you.

Thank you – Preacher for the morning of March 15th – Freddy Zalta