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November, 2014

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What Else Went Wrong? JC Calkins

Posted: November 25th, 2014 | Category: belief | Comments

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While living in a totally presumptuous world, chicken soup days are more necessary even if that purported healing broth still isn’t very effective. I spent a little extra time, watching the world over the past few weeks. Live and via news. I wasn’t really trying to relate to the world, just to understand this world a little bit better. I believe that understanding must occur before relating is ever attempted, in order to manifest any positive change. The more generations I have under my belt, the more obvious the frightening degree of annual change around us becomes. Walking through a few food plus super stores, I found the number of sample offerings much less interesting than the lined up number of takers seeking something for nothing. There is a kind of … if it’s there, take it … prevailing attitude, whether we want it or need it, or not. Free coffee, sure, since you’re already making me wait. The world is more than presumptuous too, it’s gotten angry, hungry for more, unhappy, intolerant, impatient and just plain scary. Being behind the wheel of an automobile or truck, seems to somehow unleash in so many of us, the dog abandoned to the kennel behind the barn or garage. I do not envy those enforcers of law on traffic patrol duty in these days.

We (yes each of us) expect more for less, something for nothing, as much as the next guy or in brief, far more than we deserve. Entitlement has moved into the lead, having passed deserving a decade or two ago. Most seem to view these accelerating, incremental changes in society as inevitable, positive, progressive, something to compete for. We tolerate and embrace selfishness, because if we don’t the next guy will and we’ll be left with nothing. What benefit is there to good works anymore? Is it enough to justify the hardships which seem to accompany nearly every effort to serve? A few years ago, a select group of our friends spent several dozen nights throughout the years, dispensing an inventory of food shares and banks, hot meals, winter coats, gloves and blankets. Sometimes the lines were several hundred needy people long. In all of those nights, in an upscale, popular downtown park at rush hour, only 3 or 4 of the passer-byes who have more than they need, ever even bothered glancing at our activities with those who had not or nothing. When someone brought something to offer out of kindness, they were received like princes and princesses, yet that was not enough for anyone to bring something else on another day. One act of arms length generosity a year it seemed, was more than enough time spent on unfruitful activities? Yet no one seems to understand anymore that when a tree is planted, any tree, it may take another decade or generation before the fruits of the plantings can ever be harvested. Trust, faith and patience are the keys to a great harvest, to positive change. Time is merely our opportunity to understand this. Whether we plant or harvest is not the choice, the choice is God or not.

I know that some of you know God personally and that far more of you don’t but probably think you do. Those who do, really, personally, know that God is not happy with these changes, with most of us, with the unproductive fruits of our often exercised free will. Not everyone is indifferent, not everyone is pleased with these destructive changes. Not everyone wants to join this world but few want to leave it. If we can find a reflective surface nearby, we should turn off the flattering lights, stop reconfiguring the pose and just look at who we have become, in every aspect of our lives. Dwell in that image for a moment and quiet your mind. I did that once about 20 years ago and God spoke to me in that moment of reflection. He was not happy and in that instant, I knew that I could not be either, not until I’d changed back into that which He’d created. The need is overwhelming. “Jesus said to his followers, “There is such a big harvest of people to bring in. But there are only a few workers to help harvest them.” I can see a few more staring into those reflective surfaces, because today is a day of change. If we are not involved in this harvesting, we may be left in the multitudes who need to be harvested or those who will one day wonder, just what went wrong?

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