Even though I'm somewhat sequestered from the more worrisome aspects of life: heavy traffic, violent crime, financial woes, etc., the television (and my own flesh) ensures I not become entirely immune. Emblazoned in cinematic detail (under the often mis-guided notion of news) are troubles beyond comprehension. I find myself chewing rocks & throwing stones, only to retreat in facile frustration.
Horrific natural disasters and their aftermath make for much work among FEMA and Red Cross organizations. Wars and rumors of wars call for no little wringing of hands. Epidemics and plagues seize lives with no apology, and the CDC works overtime to ensure nothing truly hideous takes root in America. On some continents we see or hear of starving children; and, what's worse, the beheading of those children. We cry because there's no way to get food or aid to them; no way to stop the hideous slaughter. We ponder the implications of nations surrounding Israel with a bent towards total annihilation.
It all conspires ~ rightly or wrongly ~ to give the impression of perilous times.
Surely someone's to blame for all this?
Surely someone needs to and/or can fix it?
Such questions and their ilk bring out the pointing, wagging fingers. Regretfully I confess that, at times, my own are among them.
Not long ago I listened as several of our more robust talking heads ascribed escapism to Christians ~ as though the Christian worldview were a panacea for that which I highlight above and more. Even so, I balked at the dumbing down of the biblical worldview in favor of what: government? guesswork? green thumbism?
- This one thinks the government ought to fix things (more power; more control; go to war; exercise diplomacy; retreat; etc.).
- That one thinks I ought to fix things (higher taxes).
- Another believes that that other nation (fill in the blank) ought to do something (employ democracy, kill/oust their leader, feed their own people, etc.)
- Still others look to Hollywood or sports figures for advice.
The list goes on and on. Talk about escapism ...
I need this reminder today for myself. Man does not have man's answer. Never did. Never will.
Still ... we labor while it is yet day; we do what we can as good stewards; and we wait while night descends even as we wait for the return of Jesus. We look up.
"Teacher", they asked,
"when will these things happen?
And what will be the sign that they are
about to take place?"
"Watch out that you are not deceived.
For many will come in my name,
claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.'
Do not follow them.
When you hear of wars and uprisings,
do not be frightened.
THESE THINGS MUST HAPPEN first,
but the end will not come right away."
Then He said to them:
"Nation will rise against nation,
and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be great earthquakes, famines
and pestilences in various places,
and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
BUT before all this, they will seize you
and persecute you ...
and you will bear testimony of Me.
BUT make up your mind not to worry
beforehand how you will defend yourselves.
For I will give you words and wisdom that
none of your adversairies will be able
to resist or contradict.
STAND FIRM, and you will win life.
Be careful, or your hearts will be
weighed down with carousing, drunkenness
and the anxieties of life, and that day will close
on you suddenly like a trap.
Be always on the watch.
~ Luke 21:7-15, 19, 34, 36
If being alert and looking up is escapist, I am guilty as charged. If remaining at peace while the nations rage and leaders run to-and-fro is escapist, then bring out the tar & feathers. I'll wear them gladly.
One man's definition of escapism is another man's hope.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains ~
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Make of heaven and earth.