What a world we live in.
Feels like things are tearing apart... I don't know why, but people seem so desperate.
Maybe its the Iranian chaos. We watch (most of us) as spectators in a world that won't, or can't, change what is happening there. Is it not a blessing that America is a country where elections happen without bloodshed? Is a sham election worse than no election at all?
Maybe its the swine flu. I kinda laughed at the first wave and all the news coverage, but in truth it won't go away. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic. The first time they've done that since 1968 (I think). All our medical technology still can't hold back everything.
Maybe its the economy. I have friends who are losing jobs. Men who are working in New Jersey while their family stays in Alabama.
Maybe its the government. I have friends who celebrated and lamented Obama's democratic victory. Regardless of whether you are conservative or liberal, I think many of us watch anxiously while the results of our (yes, our) decisions as a country change the world.
Maybe its the guns, the healthcare, the poverty, the foreign policy, the tornadoes, the hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, crime, drugs, bills, rock and roll, death, new life, religion, or whatever it is that is bugging you.
Have you ever read Ecclesiastes? The book starts like I want to...
meaningless! Its all meaningless! Just read the first chapter. It is.... familiar somehow. Aren't we supposed to know better? This is 2009 - shouldn't we have improved the world?
16 I thought to myself, "Look, I have grown and increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge." 17 Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.
18 For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
the more knowledge, the more grief.
Much sorrow... much grief.
You know, our society lives under the illusion that simply because we are moving forward in time means we are improving. We call it progress. But do we really believe that things are better now than they were? Or that they are worse than they once were?
How do you measure something like that!?
18 Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God. 20 He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.
Gladness of heart. Can you hear it? Feel it? Desire it?
Wouldn't you love to be so occupied in God that nothing could shake your world? In my best moments I'm well assured in my God. In my worst moments, I question and worry my little head off.
The end of the Book of Ecclesiastes ends focusing not on us, but instead on God. Read it for yourself.
The end of the matter is not for us to say, but instead for God. Take heart - we have a Lord who loves us and has not forsaken us. If you are yourself worried about the times we live in, you weren't the first. And you won't be the last. But God is good, and will always be with us.