Thursday, September 18, 2014

Born For Such A Time As This

Esther 4:14 "And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Mark 13:6-8 "6"Many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He!' and will mislead many. 7"When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end. 8"For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.…"

It is hard not to get caught up in the maelstrom of concern and worry over events in today's world. Between World War E(bola), Syria, ISIL, Russian moves in Ukraine, ISIS in Juarez, volcanoes erupting around the world, and a general grimness in economic news, one has to wonder what is going on. Having been fed a steady diet of Protestant End-Times Theology growing up, it is hard not to play connect the dots. But the professionally trained historian in me also realizes that this turmoil is nothing new. History is replete with time after time where civilization was reportedly on the brink of not only collapse, but total annihilation. 

Many reading this may know people who rather not want to know or deal with what is going on in the world. "If it is not good news, I'd rather not know it." I understand this mentality. But I believe it is the wrong one to have. Evil and catastrophe can be visited on you or your family at any given moment. No one or agency is responsible for your individual safety or your family's well being. Only you, and maybe a small community of family, friends, and neighbors who may share your ideas and convictions, have that responsibility. But ultimately, it is you.

I look at my children and I worry for their future. What will it be for them? Will they witness the fall of a way of life? Have I taught them enough? Have other parents worried the same in the past? Did my parents worry as I worry? Am I worrying too much? 

I don't think so.

Conflict and conquest have been an ever present companion of human existence on this planet. The myth of the peaceful native "at one with its surroundings" needs to be thrown out. Now. The rewriting and the erasing of "undesirable" historical fact needs to stop. Now. The acceptance of the fact that large portions of people around this planet despise the ideals of what America stands for, even if America does not actively stand for them currently, needs to start. Now. The acceptance of the fact that those same people would rather have you on your knees, marching away your loved ones to brutally short, horror filled lives after your own death, needs to be understood and believed. Now. I am not talking in hyperbole. I am speaking in fact. Look it up. Gird yourself. It is looking into the abyss.

The tolerance crowd and the naysayers will talk moral relativity and equivalency. They will trot out "this massacre" conducted by us, or a fact about "behavior during the crusades or this war." Atrocities are committed by all sides in conflict. This is not an excuse. Just fact. But here is another fact, traitors and quislings are usually the first ones led squawking to their own death by the very people they wanted to tolerate or cooperate with.

What do we do?

Do we continue to hide our heads in the sand, cover our ears to stop hearing the news we do not wish to hear, turn our backs against the appeals for help? This country, though still powerful, is broken. Our rudder is broken, and we are being tossed about on the sea of turmoil with no way to keep ourselves pointed straight. The reasons for this are legion, and we have no one to blame but ourselves. We can wallow in self pity and fear. We can wail at the heavens and beat our breast, lamenting our birth and existence. Many have done this in the past. Their bones litter the land. But what did Esther do when faced with her own possible death and the eradication of her people and their way of life?

She fasted and prayed for three days along with her people. She conformed herself with God's Will. She steadfastly and resolutely faced her fate, whether it was life or death. She faced it. She did not hide from it or shirk it. 

The evil of our time is not new. It has many faces. Many are deceptive. Some are not. We must be just as steadfast and resolute as Esther in our stand. Good men and women have stood against evil before and beat it back for a time. What will our story be? 

We must stand against evil in all its forms. This takes courage. This takes faith.  This takes will. This takes love. 

We may live. We may die. We all WILL die at some point. What are you willing to do against such relentless and reckless hate? How can it be stopped? Will it be stopped? Trust me, that same population group is teaching their children and their grandchildren to absolutely hate you and yours. Teach your children. Teach your grandchildren. Teach your neighbor. Do not teach them to hate. Teach them how to stand and face evil. You have no idea whose life you will touch by your example.

You were born for such a time as this.

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