Thanksgiving is here and, as I reflected on things for which I am thankful, it occurred to me that there were certain things happening in our world that are directly related to the fact that we are not thankful enough. It also brought to my attention that, even if we attempt to be thankful, we most often are not thankful to the One who deserves our thanks…God.
No matter what you believe about what’s happening in Ferguson, Missouri, the fact is that the situation is chaotic. Many who disagree with the court’s verdict are expressing their disapproval through destructive violence. Burning the corner grocery store because you do not like the outcome of a verdict is counterproductive, to say the least, and does not make the person’s case more credible. If anything, it works against the point of view of the person carrying out the destruction.
Is it just me, or do the cameramen and women covering NFL games intentionally focus on the lips of the coaches and players as they utter the most vulgar profanities? I mean, we know that there is a lot of passion and emotion involved in these competitions, but is it absolutely necessary to zoom in on all the highly-lip-readable-child-influencing-mindless rantings that spew from coaches and players alike when something doesn’t go their way? These athletes are often role models for young men and women. Is that the way we want our kids, and as they grow up, our society, to express themselves? I don’t!!!
Okay, so what’s my point?
My point is this: in our hearts we know that things like beheadings, rioting in the streets, foul mouthed obscenities, hunger, homelessness, divorce, and a myriad of other anti-social, anti-community, anti-loving behavior is wrong…and we bemoan our inability to curb these atrocities. However, we continue to ignore, reject, rebel against, mock, and basically thumb our noses at the one solution to all these problems…God.
God created the universe to function in a certain manner. When the humans He created refuse to live as He created us to live, we reap the consequences of our rebellion (see aforementioned list of atrocities and incivilities). Therefore, it is our fault that these inhumane, and inhuman, conditions exist on this planet. That’s right, even as we cry out for justice and mercy; we commit the very acts that prevent us from achieving those things. As we reject God, we reject His love and His lordship which would correct the wrongs and eliminate the evils we see all around us. By turning our backs on God, we produce the very hatred and injustice that we claim to find so disturbing and senseless.
We, you and I, choose what kind of world we will live in every day. It is no else’s fault, it is ours. If we choose to live our lives according to our own plans instead of God’s plan, we are choosing to suffer the consequences of our decisions. Consequences, such as we see nightly on the news and experience every day in our own lives. If we were to choose to bake a cake and, instead of using milk, we used gasoline…the results would not only taste bad but would be dangerous and/or deadly. The same goes for when we choose to reject God, His Word, and His ways. We end up with a society/life/community/world that not only puts a bad taste in one’s mouth, but is also dangerous and oftentimes deadly.
So, if we truly care about the injustices we claim to care about, if we are concerned about the immoral direction humanity is taking, the choice is ours. As God says, in His Word: “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV).