I just finished quite possibly, one of the most terrifying books I’ve ever read. Now, I’m not one to seek out scary books or movies, but this one isn’t scary in the traditional sense. There’s no zombies or blood-sucking monsters in it. In fact, there really aren’t even any scary parts. But this book messed with me psychologically.
When people would ask me what my biggest fear is, my answer was always snakes. But as of the reading of this book, One Second After by William Forstchen, I now will have to change my answer to EMP weapons.
I would be remiss if I didn’t confess that this book caused me to sin by worrying about the future. More than once while reading it, I laid awake in bed wondering out loud how we will prepare for this inevitable strike on our country. “After all,” I’d say to my poor, tired wife, “everything points to this happening. The military’s being cut back, the president’s got his own little agenda of uniting the whole world and not defending us from our enemies…” And then I would go into this barrage of ways we can stockpile on canned goods, save up plenty of paper cash, and even trade our cars in for old junkers.
What is an EMP weapon? It’s an electromagnetic pulse weapon that, when shot above any particular region, it explodes high up in the atmosphere and the fallout destroys – absolutely obliterates – any electrical circuit and devise. That means computers get shut off, most (if not all) cars made after 1970 shut down, planes die midair and crash.
But that’s not the scariest part. We’re the most spoiled, pampered nation in the history of the world, which means that without the electricity we daily rely on, we will literally not know how to function, which means, if this weapon is fired on us, within a matter of mere months, we will be sent back to the dark ages.
But while reading this book, I couldn’t help but recall Matthew 20:16 where Jesus says, “The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.” Suddenly, according to the prophetic vision in this book, the richest people in our nation were poorer than mud, and the poorest people (those who have lived off the land) were suddenly the richest, with their skills and street-smart expertise.
It’s just too bad I never gave thought to Matthew 6:25 (“Therefore I tell you, do not worry…”). I’m going to have to really remember that one when I’m on a plane next week.
One Second After chronicles the story of a widowed father of two daughters who is just trying to keep his family alive. There were some parts that are emotional, and the author does a great job capturing the emotions of the characters. The problem I did have with the book was the dialogue. A lot of times it came across as though the modern-day characters were speaking like people from the Bible or Lord of the Rings.
Why would I suggest this book if it caused me so much worry? Because I believe there’s something to be said for being prepared for the future. Of course, we don’t know what the future holds, but men, it is our number one responsibility to protect and defend our families. We don’t quadruple-lock our doors, but we still lock them. In the same way I’m not saying we need to be become like those extreme couponers and hoard the market’s canned goods.
I guess what I’m saying is, don’t get too comfortable with life as it is. Because whether we are struck with an EMP weapon, an atomic bomb, or suffer any other type of catastrophe, there will be a day when Jesus Christ and His Kingdom will come and rest itself here on earth, and we will live forever in a world unhindered by sin, death, fear, or anything else that keeps us awake at night. For we who belong to Christ, are aliens in this destructive world. But while we’re here, we must be prepared to protect what has been given us, starting with the Gospel message, then our families, and our friends and neighbors.
The book contains some strong language.