I’m not an end-times nut. I have some aversion to the “I’m not predicting the end is coming but I’m packing my bags” type of folks. Some days though I wonder about the end of days. But I don't think I'm supposed to sit on my back deck, eyes to the heaven, waiting for the final trumpet.
It’s going to surprise me, I think, if we don’t end up just killing each other. There seems to be no end of stupid extremism all over the globe. The leadership of North Korea isn’t playing with a full deck, the Taliban are nasty, nasty fellows, and even in our country liberals and conservative don’t want to play anything less than win-lose games that ultimately will make us all the losers. Add to this all the climatic issues erupting all over the globe (anti global warming people take your shot) plus a growing mistrust of institutional power and we’ve got some real issues in our midst.
So, what do we do? We could shrug and say "Well, that's the way it is. Out of my control. Nothing I can do." But I think there is. If I read Scripture with any degree of discernment I still think God's people have a key role to play even in the most depressing of time.
Let me suggest three things.
Don’t give up. Fatalists abound. You see them and hear them all around us. The religious ones often wrap themselves in prophetic literature and just can’t wait for the next bad report on the news. Then they text and post to their little club of end-timers and look to the sky for their rapture and they're appointment with Jesus. They bide their time by listening to people just like themselves, finding support for myopic points of view.
Non-religious fatalists often wrap themselves in their apathy and indifference. "It's all going to hell in a handbasket" you'll hear them say but when asked to make the world a better place they check their smart-phone and mutter "I'm busy." Ugh. What a horrible way to live. They’ve given up.
Here's the deal. The Kingdom of God is here. We are to live into it with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. If we play little theological games that nobody really cares about and/or buys season tickets the 'Wide Wide World of Apathy and Indifference' all kinds of nasty things will happen to the good people God loves. We can and must continue to make a difference.
So, get on the solution side of something you care about. And if you don’t care then pray to our good God for both a pulse and a conscience. There’s plenty of solutions needing to be discovered and constant care that needs to be given Pick an issue ..the environment, orphans, abuse, poverty, slavery, hunger, injustice, education, immigration, etc. etc. Those are big things. Sure, you might be in charge of choosing the paint for the walls of your pre-school and think you’re busy but I’m saying we’ve got to attach ourselves to a bigger vision. We can do the normal things of life with our eyes closed. Of course, we coach our kids team and we support the PTA and we clean up the neighborhood park. And that might be the season of life you're in. If so, do it well and to the glory of God. But for many of us there is a growing sense of outrage about something happening in this big world of ours that is driving us absolutely crazy. I'm saying we need to dive into that deep discontent and then see what God does.
Get radical in your love of God. I think we play around with this thing called faith. At least I do all too often. I want to go deeper. So do you I bet.
We've abdicated 'faith' and let it become the playground of the nut-job, the apathetic, and the institution. That's why so many are walking away. They can't handle the anger or the lack of focus. Let's take it back. Let's quit praying to the God we've created and instead allow the the real God to shape us into what He wants. Too many people piddle around with stuff that doesn’t matter and ignore the radical call of God on their life. God loves us with a radical kind of love. Why wouldn’t we think He wants us locked in and focused on the Kingdom agenda He’s laid out?