“These are uncertain times we live in.” I’ve been hearing that a lot lately – the economy, the unrest in the Middle East and Libya and Egypt, the crazy governor of Wisconsin, exorbitant healthcare costs, unemployment, the housing crisis, the general moral decline of our society, etc., etc., etc.
And those things are all real and they do create uncertainty and anxiety. But are “the times we live in” any less certain than any other time in mankind’s history? I doubt it. I believe that because we are human and subjected to life (with all its good and bad) we will always feel some uncertainty. Perhaps if we don’t dwell on all the bad stuff maybe life will be a little easier to live. And I suppose it might be true that (a little) ignorance is (a little) bliss(ful). This reminds me of a joke:
There are 3 kinds of people – those that make things happen; those that watch things happen; and those that say, “What happened?”
I must admit that sometimes I fall squarely into that 3rd category. It’s not that I live my life with blinders on but there are times when I feel absolutely overwhelmed by the injustice in our world. There are those days when I feel so powerless to the suffering and heartache many in our society face that I want to bury my head in the sand. I don’t want to face the truth.
Recently in Madrid, at the Metro Station near my hotel, each day I encountered a woman begging. I just turned and walked away. I couldn’t bring myself to look her in the eyes. I think that I was afraid that if I looked at her (really looked) that I might feel some compassion and give her money. What was my fear? Was she truly powerless and in great need or a scammer looking for a quick buck? I’ll never know because I walked away. And even if I had given her a few Euros I still wouldn’t have known. That’s what troubles me now – why did I need to know? Jesus doesn’t ask us to judge; he asks us to give. And sadly, in Spain, I chose to run away out of fear or ignorance!
But I have hope. I know that bad things will happen and that life will have its share of difficulties and disappointments but my trust is in Jesus. I believe that even through the crappy stuff He won’t abandon me. And even with my selfishness and lack of compassion He has offered forgiveness to me. It’s now my job to accept His forgiveness and promise to do better the next time. So I can either ignore my anxiety and fear or I can embrace it and “hand it over to God”.
Because even in these “uncertain times we live in” – Jesus is the ultimate certainty.
“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.”