I noticed last Thursday that the world is going to hell. You say, “The world has always been going to hell.” I say, “Yes, but now it is going straight to hell. Rapidly to hell. Immediately to hell.”
Do not pass “Go,” and do not bother with a handbasket.
Senior citizens have long known that civilization is on the skids. The knowledge comes free with age. You have seen too much. You remember how things were. The good things you remember keep sliding down into the dustbin of entropy. Meanwhile, bad things come up out of nowhere and metastasize across the evening sky.
However, God says:
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
—Isaiah 43:19 (NIV)
God is preparing Something Completely Different, and it’s on a channel our sets can’t pick up. The Great New Thing of the Future is already here, but we’re looking the wrong way. (Theologians have been known to call this “eschatological tension.”)
Eternity crashes down about our ears in more ways than Chicken Little could ever count.
- War. Plague. Famine.
- Inflation. Depression. Hard-heartedness.
- Dissension. Criticism. Hurtfulness.
Pick your poison.
Whenever things come crashing down, a whole new arrangement waits in the wings.
The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfills himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.
—Tennyson, Idylls of the King
We waste ourselves attacking visions that diverge from our own. History shows that diversity of viewpoints is a kind of “rocket fuel” that has propelled our society to greatness. We can’t be bothered with that. The deplorable politics of others, we take for our bête noir—perhaps because we face no real existential threats.
The Bible tells us, more than it tells us any other thing, “Fear not.” Yet we continue to be governed by fear. What if we were governed by confidence that the next new wave of things will bring the perfect, peaceable Kingdom of God that much closer to fruition?
Larry F. Sommers, Your New Favorite Author