It was interesting to see the reaction of people to one particular situation a few weeks ago after hurricane Harvey caused such destruction along the Texas Gulf coast. On Wednesday, August 30, there was no real problem in Dallas and the surrounding area. By Thursday morning, August 31, many people around here were almost in a panic! What happened? The news media began to report on Wednesday that there could be a shortage of gasoline in the Dallas area. Our daughter told me that she saw a report in Kansas that the Dallas area could run out of gas during the Labor Day holiday. As most of you know, people all over the metroplex began rushing to the gas stations on Thursday morning. Many waited in lines that stretched out into the streets. Some said it took over an hour for them to get to the gas pumps. In a few instances fights broke out between frustrated and upset drivers. Gas prices rocketed upwards. Most stations around Dallas went from around $2.19 to $2.99 in less than an hour. Some prices were even higher. I saw one in Mesquite at $5.99…and there were a few people there buying it! By Thursday evening the situation had become so unstable that the Texas Railroad Commissioner, who oversees gas and oil operations, came out with a press release to say that there was absolutely not a shortage of gasoline and consumers needed to calm down. Furthermore, the Texas Attorney General issued a press release reminding sellers of gasoline that price gouging is illegal and they would be on the lookout to prosecute any gas stations that were doing that. It took a few days but people finally calmed down and things got back to normal. Was there a genuine concern? Sure there was. Some refineries along the Gulf coast were shut down. Oil tankers had to wait out in the Gulf until the storm passed so refineries could reopen and they could deliver their crude oil cargo. Production was disrupted and the gas prices increased because of it. Was there a genuine cause to be in a near panic? No. This is a good example of two major forces in our society: 1) The power of mass media in America and, 2) How people can be influenced by the behavior and beliefs of the majority. These forces affect all of us to one extent or another. Did I go line up and fill up my gas tank on that Thursday? Yes, I did. It is imperative that we do not follow the majority in the most critical area of our lives. That area is our faith. Jesus says, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14) No matter what others may do and believe, stay calm and listen to Jesus.