I am not infatuated with the past. I'm not eager to learn about the failures of our society. World news doesn't hold my interest. Much like my youngest daughter's indifference to time, my attitude towards politics and government is laissez faire. However, if I am, as CNN host, Anderson Cooper, proclaims, "Keeping *ME* honest, " I find myself more and more concerned with the future of our world and how TODAY impacts it.
Last evening, we watched the "X-Men: Days of the Future Past" and the 80s classic, "Fatal Attraction." The themes of these movies seemed to resonate with this idea I've been having that we as a society have a God complex. We want to be all knowing, all powerful and all helpful to the ills of humanity. We want an utopian world amidst poverty, racial and religious tensions, pandemic sickness and so on. We want to fix things and people and places. We want a guarantee on life, that outside of God's grace is promised to no one. We at times imagine ourselves as kinder, gentler, more merciful and loving than God. Certainly, more wise and capable than He, at solving the complex matters of our own hearts and minds. But, in reality, all we want is control.
The X-Men film forecast this idea of exceptional people being categorized as a threat because they could not be controlled. And so, humans without the exceptional behavior or difference feared what they could not control. Fatal Attraction, a cult classic, drew men and women into the bedroom with Dan (Micheal Douglas) and Alex (Glenn Close). Admist the passion of their adultery, pot flinging and rising steam, there was a theme that the director consistently marked out for us that screamed, "Pay Attention! You can't take fire into your bosom and not get burned. Respect the fire because you can't control it."
This idea that we can control anything is a fable. Preparedness doesn't keep disaster away. Education doesn't prevent cancer. Knowledge doesn't control evil. You cannot legislate morality. So what do we do? How do we change our behavior? How do we change the course of our society's inevitable doom?
There's a saying, "Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud." For much of our society, our fears are like ornaments. We wear them with such pride. We adorn ourselves with fears we've adopted from our forefathers and ancestors. We parade them as marks of success, calling them high standards, preparedness and writs of passage. I studied here. I made my mark there. I prepared myself. I can thus control yours and my own destinies. But the fear, is I am not prepared. I do not know anything. I have no future. I will die and know nothing of all I accomplished in this place. I will leave this earth and nothing I have done in the here and now will have mattered. The fear of death and its irrevocable nothingness. That's the fear that must be addressed because without it we continue to mask away the truth. Death is inevitable. We are young and then we are old. Our attempts at prolonging life; or at least the appearance of prolonged life is evidenced in the increasingly successful cosmetic and pharmaceutical markets. Botox anyone? Viagra sir? Ah, the ever illusive fountain of youth.
Are we more kind than God? "Yes, He may want to destroy us all but we want to live," is how must people imagine Him. Truth is, we are not more kind than He. He cannot be outdone. His mercies are NEW every morning, while we hold on to past ( and imagined) offenses for years! We cannot help anyone without the help of Him. We cannot do greater deeds than He has done for us. We cannot see if He does not give us sight beyond where we are. Godly preparedness, doesn't prepare for disaster. It readies itself for victory. It sees the storm coming and sees it's end. It is unafraid. It is as Isaiah 30:15 declares, "In repentance and rest is your salvation, and in quietness and trust is your strength."
My goodness pales, like white doggie poo, in comparison to God's goodness. He doesn't seek to control me, though He could. But He gives me the freedom and the liberty to walk on my own, to feel, taste, touch and smell the world around me; and His only requirement is that I allow Him to be God to me. If I don't it doesn't change His God status or nature, He is still God. But if I accept, it changes my everything. My whole world becomes an endless chain of events that leads to eternal life. Wow. Big wow!
I am fearless about my future not because I'm blind to it, on the contrary I see through it. This morning as I prayed, I was able to reflect on where I had been. How deep my sorrow was and how great a divide my past is from my present. I praised God for His mercy, Unfailing Love and grace towards me. And I thanked Him for my future. By God's grace, I am not bound by fear. I see beyond. My concern lies with those who are so full of fears that they cannot see past today. Worry grabs hold of them in the night, strangling them until the sun rises again. My commitment to God today, is to tell you how deeply loved you are. It doesnt matter what you did or who you are. You are loved with a perfect and unconditional love. You can live an abundantly full life that last eternally through the person of Jesus Christ. your relationship with the living God isn't about Him controlling you but you having control over YOU. We project so much of our desire to control on external matters but rarely have control over our own internal workings. Few of us, have mastered control of our thoughts, actions and speech. As the Apostle Paul would agree, What we will to do we do not do; and what we will not to do, is what we do with regularity. It is God's desire to empower us by His grace to do those things that we desire to do that please Him, not because it will make Him love us more but because OUR lives will be all the better for it. I believe God wants us to have a little heaven on earth and to share that piece (and peace) of heaven that we enjoy everywhere that we go. My goodness isn't to point people to me. That's control. My goodness is to point people to heaven. That's liberty! I pray your strength and divine healing. Be at peace, knowing that God is good. And He is a faithful rewarder of ALL who put their trust in Him. Amen. Fearless Nation! Let's go!