It’s been quite the summer for many.
We’ve seen it kicked off with an Arab Spring in Egypt and other countries in the Mideast, culminating with a revolution in Libya. We have a non-stop roller coaster ride of a global economy that is straining the European Union, causing foreclosures and 10% unemployment in the US, and is leaving many unsure of their financial future. We had riots in London, the likes we haven’t seen in years that threatened the city’s very stability. We had political theater in the US regarding the debt ceiling that almost threatened its economy with default. Our nonstop wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is killing soldiers and civilians alike-creating heartache, devastation, and Islamic resentment. Even as of this past Sunday, the pain of 9/11 still stings our collective heart after 10 years. And at the time of this publishing, America’s readying for the 2012 Presidential elections which look like a race between The Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy.
Even nature’s got into the act. A 5.8 magnitude earthquake in Virginia shook up the US East Coast (which I felt myself in Northern New Jersey-quite an unsettling feeling). Hurricane Irene delivered damaging blows to the Eastern Seaboard, flooding many a town in the Northeast; only to be followed by tropical storm Lee that dumped more rain on that rain-weary region. Even in my neck of the NJ woods, I still see trees downed from Irene and homes with waterlogged items in front of them. While droughts are turning the state of Texas and parts of the Southwestern US into a giant tinderbox complicated by wildfires in Texas. Let’s not also forget the bane of our age, global warming.
To look at all this going on in our world brought to mind the scripture at the top of this post. You know, or heard the story from Mark 4:35-41. Jesus and his disciples cross the sea in a boat, a storm rises up while Jesus’s asleep in the stern, the disciples wake up Jesus fearing for their lives, Jesus calms the storm and rebukes the disciples for their lack of faith.
Now for many of us in the Faith, this story is a lesson about having faith in God in even seemingly overwhelming odds. Plus, Christians tend to quickly criticize the disciples for their lack of faith when Jesus-the miracle worker-was in the boat with them. However, we don’t realize that people have real deep-seated concerns-even fears-that they still will wrestle with regardless of their belief in God. And the last thing these people need is to be criticized for lack of “faith.”
The recent events stated earlier is causing many to cry out to God (or who/whatever they believe in), “carest thou not that we perish?” We’re in the middle of this big storm that’s pounding our collective boat, and letting water in. We’re watching our world go through changes that try the most bravest of souls. People are perishing-mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and even physically.
Plus, we don’t know if we’ll sink or sail at the end. Many of us are still looking for those immortal words from the above passage of Scripture, “peace be still” to be spoken to our collective storm. But as I wrote in an earlier post, “Time to Grow Up”:
“And last, I’m learning that God isn’t going to “fix” our problems. God’s not going to”bless our mess”- whether we make it or not. Maybe God is looking for us to handle our business and fix it ourselves.
God, I believe, is looking for us to grow up (me included) and mature as a species. He/She/It has not finely crafted us over millions of years of evolution just for us to stay immature in childish and superstitious belief systems that endanger the race.”
God is not going to come down and speak those longed-for words, “peace be still”. Neither will Jesus. God, in whom I beginning to see God is (more down the road), has equipped us with all we need-like He/She/It equipped Jesus. I believe God is right here with us-in and about all-wondering when we’re going to make the next move. When-as a species-we become like Jesus in the story and say, “peace be still”. Speaking peace to our political situations, peace to our economy, peace to the hurting among us. Speaking peace to our environment while we still have time.
Does God care? I really don’t know. All I do know is that we better care…
Or we will perish.