Tuesday, June 06, 2006
We knew this day would come
Only 42 more minutes, and we reach that fateful day, 06-06-06. The amount of attention that this date has been given is very amusing to me. There have been movies made to be released specifically on this day, there are couples getting married on this day, at 6 p.m. (of course), there are newspaper articles, feature new stories...even my Earthlink newsticker has not been immune to the sway this date seems to hold over the populace.
I wonder if it is that, as a culture, our lives really are so small that we must cling to something like this to give it color and, in a sense, meaning. Or, if there has become such a fascination with all things evil that the significance of this day...666...has an appeal this is dangerously sexy.
I'm not sure. I do think we are far beyond going out of our way to avoid evil, and instead seem to want to see how close we can get to it before it finally consumes us. Newsflash...this culture has already been consumed, and we're now being digested.
But, what can you do? In your own sphere of influence, you may be able to keep darkness at bay, but there is little to be done for the world as a whole. It is difficult enough for me to keep myself from evil, to keep my own lifestyle pure, etc...without taking on the burden of tackling the transient morality of the world around me. I don't think we should just lay down and take it. But I do think the reality is that the things that are good and pure in this world, and the system of beliefs that have protected those things thus far, are quickly becoming the things of yesterday, and we're entering into an era when all bets are off. Just as the Word told us...what is evil is called good, and what is good is called evil.
This horrific truth is playing out in the most bizarre and shocking ways. A few months ago, I learned on "The O'Reilly Factor" that there are organizations dedicated to protecting the loopholes in the laws that allow them to have commit incest without penalty. They want to protect their right to engage in sex with their children, and any other minor living in their household. As shocking as information like this is, it is becoming the norm. You can hear about things like this on the news, and it may make you pause for a moment and shake your head at the condition the world is in, but you quickly move on to other things. We've become numb.
I remember when I was a child, I had a fear of war. This was during the Regan era, and there was always a threat of war hanging silently over our heads back then. At least, that was how it seemed to me, watching all the things on the news about something to do with a guy named Iran Contra, trying to process all of it with my five year old brain, asking my dad if we would be safe in a war even though there was a plant just down the road that was building tanks. Even at that time, though, there was a sense that the world we lived in was still pretty safe, that there was still a sense of goodness and purity that people valued. Perhaps it was just my childlike innocence that allowed me to believe that, but I don't think so. Times have changed.
We are living in an era now where there is not only a threat of war, but a very real war raging just across the ocean and through the desert, and there is no forseeable end to it. There are people in the world that hate us (Americans) so passionately that they are willing to die, if only to take out a few of us along the way. We are regularly hearing stories of horrific atrocities being perpetrated against the most defenseless among us. We hear these stories so often that we hardly bat an eyelash at it anymore, let alone gasp in horror as we probably ought to now and then. We cherish the things that are innocent and beautiful in the world, perhaps even more so when we have that moment of understanding that, given the chance, those things would gladly be ripped away from us, replaced with something vile and vulgar.
On nights such as this, I feel the weight of the toxic soup we are living in. We've grown accustomed to it, as one can grow accustomed to nearly anything. We've rationalized it, we've made excuses for it, and we accept...reluctantly...that things will only grow worse as time marches relentlessly forward. Jesus said this would be so.
There is still beauty and purity left in the world, and I treasure it when I find it. I see it every day, in my niece's eyes, when she looks at me without a care or a worry in the world, knowing she is in an environment of love. I see it in sunshine that peeks through the curtains in the morning, and I relish the northern Michigan sunrise that can't be matched. I see it in the kindness of strangers, in the constant love of true friends. I feel it in the simple joys life offers...a good cup of coffee, a long walk, unabashed laughter. There is still goodness and beauty left in the world, and it is these things that remind me..."God is in His heaven, and all is right with the world."
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