Out there, you know that time is moving on. One look in the mirror can tell you this. One small jog around the block can tell you this, as pains shoot up and down your legs for the rest of the day after you run.
But out there, you also see plenty of signs that time hasn’t moved at all. The quiet spring morning feels like it could be any spring morning of your life. The words that pop up here across the screen could be getting typed in Ami Pro on a Gateway desktop circa 1997, or Open Office on an Inspiron with Ubuntu circa 2009. It really doesn’t matter which spring morning it is, until you remember that you are among the lucky few to still be alive.
At least you think you are lucky.
Or blessed, if you will.
You are a blessed man to not be concerned this morning with how it will feel to slowly slip out of mortal coil, and be at the mercy of forces much more powerful than you’ve ever known.
If you could have your way, then you might expect Heaven to have an infinite set of libraries containing infinite sets of books filled with infinite words of wisdom. You would expect Hell to have nothing at all. Even a fellow being to commiserate with, to complain about the service and the food, would be too much to ask for. You are far more terrified at the prospect of descending into a black, thick void of silence with no possible hope of ever being pulled out of it–and no mercy available to allow you to sleep through any of it.
You wake up and you want to go out into the world as a loving hippie. A gentle soul that could only be truly happy in the 1970s, when a man like John Denver cracked the pop country charts. Can you imagine a man like John Denver getting played on pop country radio today? A gentle soul was welcomed by a nation that wanted to heal from so many crises of war, de-segregation race riots, political scandals and economic malaise. Funny how people over the past ten years talk about how we entered some of the blackest times America has ever seen, and yet, the times of Obama and the present economic recession never seemed to match some of the dark hours of yesteryear.
You want to go out and heal the world.
You want to find a blind man, and help him to see again. You want to find a teenage girl on the verge of committing suicide from being bullied, and heal her heart and give her the confidence to move forward into a happy adulthood. You want to go back in time and heal yourself and your family.
The real world greets you with an angry sort of resistance. Even the most mild of men seem darkly opposed to your healing mission. Nobody wants to embrace your proposed changes, because they don’t seem to be authentic, anymore. What is needed, they say, are real men who can stand up to the evils of our society. Everyone wants a fighter. You are a terrible fighter. The devil fills your head with visions of ripping a man out of his car and smashing his head into the concrete until half of his face is unrecognizable and beyond repair. That is where your mind goes when its asked to stand up and fight. Your fighting self has never been developed past that of the Neanderthal–grabbing women by the hair and clubbing men to death.
You need to learn to be on guard against these things.
In these dark hours that are coming–and we mean hours that are truly dark, and ones that will make the black days of Medieval times seem rosy–you will constantly be under pressure to “stand up and fight.” But, this is a tricky society, that thinks they would ultimately prefer peace to war “if only it were that simple.” You are one of the few that understand in any tit-for-tat scenario that is escalated, both sides will fight and fight, and the fighting will spill over into the neighbor’s backyard, and he will join a side and commence fighting, and eventually, the land will be soaked in blood. This is why Jesus asked you to turn the other cheek, and return good for evil, because it’s simply the only way to prevent total war.
Those who think we need men and women carrying weapons to keep the peace have yet to see what happens once law has left the building, and law will surely leave once the almighty dollar coughs its last, dying breath.
You will have a tremendous choice, then, to become one of the few who refuse to join in the total war that will quickly spread across the land. You have to be ready to lay down your life for what you believe, and put the safety of you and your family in God’s hands. If your faith is so weak that you believe you can’t completely rely on God to help you out, then you will become one of the many carrying a gun and shooting any and all who dare get in your way. In that chosen path, you and your family will surely die, and die without mercy.
Out there, on the news sites, time doesn’t appear to have moved on at all. You wouldn’t know it to be a day any different than a day from five, ten, fifteen years ago. There are a few random mentions of technology and celebrities that may not have existed then, but the problems of the people today don’t seem to have changed much at all. People are happy and content to keep living like it is still 1999. Quite frankly, if the choice is to live as if you’re stuck in a time loop, you would take it over a world that is descending into total war or your own soul descending into the endless Void. The familiar and the predictable, the routine and the safe headlines make you feel happy and comforted.
As long as you can keep yourself from remembering the loved ones who have left this earth, and don’t get to enjoy a simple spring morning with predictable cups of coffee and safe headlines about T-Bonds and inside trading scandals, you can keep chugging along with your so-called self improvement plan that you hope will one day see you completely free of any anger or hate for others, and see you free of any sexually deviant thoughts, and see you standing up to be a great leading man in your community.