I’ve heard it said that when you point at someone there are three fingers pointing back at you. Jesus said that it was pretty stupid to highlight the flaws and weaknesses in others and not expect it to expose your own shortcomings. Not accepting others has the worst affect on us though, we fear the judgment of others more when we are judgemental.
When we accept others I think we assume that others will accept us more. At any rate the world would be a better place with less fear and intolerance. Let’s not get caught out as the ones trying to catch others out!
I always wonder about the day after. What the ‘end of the world’ style cults will do when the world doesn’t end. As a teen I was amused when this happened, now I’m pretty sad. Lot’s of people invested fully in the idea that something was going to happen, and then it didn’t. I’m especially sad to read all the articles about pensioners investing all their savings into ad campaigns warning people, or parents who have neglected their children’s interests in the same pursuit. There’s nothing amusing about this. I don’t think these people should be punished for committing to what they believed in, I just hope there’s some understanding in their community for them.
So, what now? I think Richard Dahlstrom summed it up in “And if the world doesn’t end this Saturday… Getting our Priorities straight” this week. But to put my own two cents in...
I think that we clean it up. The world isn't going anywhere fast, and though we have a lot of work before us there is really no other option. Some look at the mess and are willing to give up because of the size of the damage, but I'm more hopeful than that. A comment I saw recently said:
“I just don’t see everyone learning to love each other happening without His direct intervention. I don’t see the mega-rich stopping their exploitative business practices. I don’t see the rights of indigenous people being recognised; instead the genocide is covered up. I don’t see the poor and the disposed being cared for. I don’t see swords being beaten into ploughshares. I don’t see slavery and oppression coming to an end. So in a sense I am looking forward to the end of the world”
I think we can all relate to that pain of living in this broken world. But I see something different. I know that there is so much war, but then I do see places where swords are being beaten into ploughs. There is oppression, but I do see a transformation where that oppression is replaced with justice. I do see hate and greed and exploitation and genocide and lies and fear, but for all that God is working and transforming lives in real ways that brings about His kingdom on earth. I think this world would have rotted a long time ago if it was in constant decay, but it hasn't, because it's being slowly built up as well. I have a big hope for the future. A future that starts now.
I'm a big fan of unity, and so I don't like to take up a negative stance against those who believe much of what I believe as well. Still, I think that we should be able to think independently and disagree on many things, constantly trying to find the truth and broaden each others minds. That said, I find it rather amusing that yet another Christian group has picked the date of Christ’s return. Guess what, it's this Saturday!
More accurately, Jesus' return to earth is Saturday, with the subsequent destruction of the Earth on the 21st of October. My sister is miffed that she'll miss her 25th birthday this year.
Wecanknow.com makes the argument that 'Noah knew, and so can we' but their site is so bulky that the actual details of their reason for believing this, and their reason for picking this Saturday, are well hidden. Never-the-less, they invite you to pour through the data and pray for a revelation of the truth.
focussing on the destruction of the world is dangerous. We begin to live as thought the planet and our lives don't matter. It's like the old hypothetical 'What would you do if you had only a day left to live?' Provocative perhaps, but I think a way more challenging and telling questions is 'What will you do if you don't die tomorrow?' 'What will you do if the earth doesn't burn?' 'What if we have to lie in the bed we made for ourselves?'
Maybe we'll make a better bed. Maybe we'll treat the earth better. Maybe we'll live our lives more like we'd hoped. We have to put in the effort to heal and transform, because there's no reset button. I hope my life can be different because I have hope for the world we have. How about you?
My monitor got scratched this week. It’s sort of a dramatic scratch that stretches out over the expanse of the corner, starting on the piano black frame and bursting onto the LCD.
At first I was furious and desperate to fix it. And then I realised that there was no real need. There was nothing wrong with it. I wouldn’t even notice it after a day or two, it didn’t affect my experience at all. It’s strange how I worry so much about stuff that doesn’t really matter. I want to live more simply.