People of the Worst Case


People of the Worst Case

We have ever been a people of the worst case. It is easy to track in our popular entertainments. In the late sixties/early seventies we had The Late Great State of California that had people buying "beach-front property" in Nevada in the expectation that California would slide off into the sea. In recent years we have had meteor impacts (Armageddon and Deep Impact, plague The Hot Zone, Twelve Monkeys and Outbreak (among others). We have this tendency to look for and expect the worst. I sometimes wonder if this isn't a spin-off of Toffler's Future Shock--the rate of change is so great that we expect everything to snowball. And of course, these things are not completely outside the realm of possibility.

But sometimes these fears are magnified, played upon, and manipulated for purposes that defy understanding at the time. And we need to be wary of that manipulation. We must always be aware of the possibility, but we must not buy into the hysteria that is a desirable commodity among those who are issuing the propaganda. I'm always a little suspicious of any message that starts with a "Don't Panic" warning. Obviously, we are being told that there is something worth panicking over. We live in uncertain times--if we spend all of our time in uncertainty, it will be deadly not only to our emotional lives but to our spiritual lives.

All of this by way of prelude. Our security is not here and now. The human tendency is to cling to the here and now--it is what we can see and what we can hold. Here and now is where we live--but it isn't the end of life because one day we shall live in eternity which is the only security. All human things shall fail--all human concerns shall pass away. They must be dealt with as they happen--and certainly there is no harm in making provision for them by way of insurance and wills. But the truth is that our knowledge is limited, our understandings not crystal clear, we do not see very far into the future, and what we do see is obscured by our own prejudices and agendas. Rather than looking to the future and to what may happen and what might be, we would do far better to look to Who Was, and Is, and Is to Come. In that Person there is assurance, security, certainty--a future we know and believe in completely. God is our Father and it is His great desire to welcome us back into the Family of His Son. With such a Father, why would we worry so about all of these human things.

The hard truth is that we will all die. We will all "lose" loved-ones. We will all suffer great hardships, such that all other ordeals seem inconsequential. And we can either do this on our own, or we can do this in complete confidence of God our Savior. We can spend our time worrying about all the possible contingencies of our age, or we can rely on God and pursue our lives in the here and now, understanding that the unexpected may happen, and like the wise Virgins, keeping the lamp stocked with the oil of prayer and spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

The times are uncertain--we do not know what lies ahead. But we do know that whatever is there, Jesus is Lord of History, Lord of Our Time and All Time. With complete confidence in Him, instilled through meditation, fasting, and prayer, we can move ahead into whatever the future holds knowing that it little matters what transpires in our brief lifetimes, "Men are like grass in bloom today, fuel for the fire tomorrow," because the real matters are matters of the spirit--matters beyond the selfish and self-involved concerns of the moment, matter of eternity.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on January 8, 2003 7:50 AM.

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