Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Challenge Presented By The Changing Times

     Time brings with it so many changes.  I remember hearing the old folks talk when I was small.  They talked about when they got their first car, back then known as a horseless carriage.  They spoke of getting electricity and an electric ice box and once they had it how much as children they missed running along beside the horse pulled ice wagon that used to deliver ice every other day.  They talked of all the kids taking a bath every Saturday night so they didn't smell bad in church the next day.  They all used the same bath water.  It seems Daddy got the water first then Mama and then the kids starting with the oldest first.  My mother had 8 brothers and sisters so I'm pretty sure that bath water was mighty nasty when they got to the last youngun.  I thought it was awful when they talked about that bath but I really enjoyed some of their other stories.  One of my favorites was how they got a radio after they got electricity.  They used to sit together every night as a family and listen to stories brought to them courtesy of that newfangled RCA radio and those radio waves.  What joy they had in such a simple life.  My how times have changed.
     Some of the oldest folks back then didn't have much of an education and most of them had never read very much.  By the same token almost all of them had one book they prized and almost every one of them had read it cover to cover.  Of course that book was The Bible.  Bible salesmen used to come around periodically and that's when folks got the new ones for the kids that didn't have one or to replace the ones they had handed down to the kids.  The younguns thought it a pretty special time when they reached an age old enough to have their own Bible.  Again I say, "My!  How times have changed".
     In this day and age we now face, it's a daily challenge to follow the example set by Jesus to love one another.  Ten minutes of listening to the daily news or reading a newspaper can sure put a lot of pressure on that endeavor.  What are we suppose to feel about ISIS as they murder fellow Christians?  What are we suppose to feel about the deranged young man who goes into a church and murders those who have come to worship?  How are we suppose to deal with feelings about the man who does the same to our young people in schools?  And all that just scratches the surface.  It's hard to even talk about the people running for the office of president.  Then there is abortion, gay rights, transgender rights, drugs, and OH MY the list could just go on forever.  Life will never again be as simple as it once was and at the same time we hope we never have to be as deprived as folks were back then.  I, for one, really like clean bath water.
     So what do we do?  The answer is the same it has always been even if actually following through is much harder.  Jesus himself said the most important thing to do is to love.  Love God and love each other.  I pray every night for the leaders of ISIS.  I ask God to show them love and show them what is right.  I pray for Trump, Cruz, Clinton, and Sanders.  I ask God to show them a path of righteousness.  I even pray for Satan.  He once lived with and loved God but he fell away.  Imagine what the world would be like if God could get Satan back in His fold.
     What do I hear most often when I tell folks these things.  I'm idealistic.  I'm naive.  People have even called me unworldly and ignorant but you know what?  When I lay down at night to sleep after those prayers, I have a smile on my face and there is no doubt in my mind God is right there in my room with me watching over me as I sleep.  I can't think of a better way to get a good night's sleep.