Watching and praying
I’ve been deeply impressed lately that evil is on the march in the world. Jesus told His followers to watch and pray. Both are necessary. If we’re not watching, we cannot pray effectively. If we’re not praying, we will be either oblivious to or overcome by the evil so extant in the world. The Christian walk is as on a balance beam. Go to either side too far, and you’re in trouble.
When the soviet empire came crashing down a couple of decades ago, some brilliant guy came up with the premise that history had reached its end. For some reason he thought all the big stories had been told. The world now was going to learn to live in peace, or something.
Welcome to something. We had a decade-long hiatus in the Nineties, but only because we chose to ignore the signs, such as the embassy bombings and the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1996. David the king of Israel made the biggest mistake of his life when he got involved with Bathsheba, and he fell to that temptation because he stayed back during the season when he should have been at war. He wasn’t doing what he was supposed to be doing, he indulged himself and paid the price.
I wonder if this nation will ever wake up. I wrote here recently that the current wave of Arab uprisings was a missed opportunity for us to spread human rights. The administration that the American people elected with such idealism stood off to the side, confused, incompetent and impotent. And it had done the same a year and a half ago, when the brave Iranian patriots were left twisting in the wind during their window of opportunity.
The Muslim menace hasn’t gone anywhere. And we are only getting weaker. Bankrupt schemes of paternalistic government have placed us far in the debtor’s corner, mortgaging our children’s future and making us the slave of cruel international creditors. There is an immense leadership void at the very top, and still the majority of the electorate stands behind their man.
Hey, turn American Idol back on. The Superbowl is over, and Lady Gaga won’t be on til later.
One horrendous event came to light this week, in which a female chief correspondent was brutally assaulted during the reveling in Cairo. Just before that, a teenager in Pakistan, who had been raped by an uncle, was found guilty of unchastity and sentenced to ninety lashes. She collapsed and died after eighty.
I thought about all the darkness in the world, so dark that even religion gives men sanction to behave like beasts. And then I turned back to our nation, and when I saw the snide and vulgar comments our own people were making about the Cairo story, I realized that we were no better. If we don’t turn around, we are going to collapse from the weight of our own moral filth.
There are hopeful signs. One after another, the major European leaders have come forth with surprising pronouncements that political correctness’s malformed offspring, multiculturalism, is nothing but cultural and national suicide. The heroic work of a few watchmen there, who told the truth despite great personal risk, may be beginning to pay off.
And in the states, the revolution continues. A Virginia school district puts the Ten Commandments back up on the wall. The fallout from last November’s elections continues, and when Republican leadership begins to vacillate on its commitment to rein in government, its own freshman class takes it to task.
But it’s an uphill battle. We fight a defeated foe, but he seldom gives up ground without a fight.
In all this, I am pursuing peace. I am convinced that nothing of eternal worth gets done without abiding in the peace of Christ. We can gain the whole world, the Lord tells us, but if we lose that one thing – our precious relationship with Him – we truly have gained nothing.
Strong defense, freedom of worship, smaller government and lower taxes – all these are good and important things. But we must guard that we do not become like Martha, consumed with worry and care. Jesus commended not Martha, but Mary, for simply sitting at His feet and taking in His presence and His words. He wasn’t saying that work and responsibility aren’t necessary. But there’s a time for everything, and when Jesus shows up and starts talking, it’s time to sit and listen. The rest will work itself out somehow.