I remember watching action-hero cartoons as a child and the general theme would be a bad guy wanting control over the world and a super-hero good guy would save the day. The same plot repeated itself in every show; the bad guy almost prevailed but in the end the good guy saves the world. What works in the fantasy world does not always play out in the real world. Most of us are apprehensive about the future.
The Year 2020 has been a doozy of a cartoon. Wake me up when the show is over!! We have been in the midst of a pandemic, a bitter election year, racial protests, rioting and looting in big city streets, and toilet paper shortages. When are the locusts coming and when will the water be turning to blood–asking for a friend?
One of the most disheartening things in all this, is the overall division and disunity. There are adversarial positions on everything—from definitions to face masks. There are many who claim to be the good guys with the solutions to all the world problems, while most of us are skeptical about who the good guys are.
The world has had problems from the garden gate of Eden to our front door. The world will always have problems; we live in a fallen world. As agents of God’s Kingdom, we are called to alleviate as many earthly problems as possible. Our efforts at solutions need to be real not just something that makes us feel better about our blessings.
I am wary of those who claim to have all the solutions to all the problems. Those who promise some type of fairy tale utopia are not telling us the truth. We have had something like 5,000 years of recorded world history documenting wars, tyrants, disease, natural disasters, and vile hatred. Thankfully in those millenniums, we have had some bright spots of heroes, benevolent rulers, revivals, reformations, deliverance, and cures. In those five thousand years of history there has only been one perfect person (Jesus Christ) and He was executed.
The evil plots of the bad guys are real. There are people and groups of people who are motivated by the desire for power and money and will do anything for it. The common man is appalled but not surprised by this power and money grab. Most common people have a hard time understanding this because we just want a peaceful, comfortable, and quiet life with our families and desire the same for everyone else regardless of their race, nationality, religion, or politics.
When I talk with my friends about these things, there is a prevalent undercurrent we sense. We feel like somewhere in the elite power-sphere, there are those who want to divide us for their own selfish purposes. It is like those in high places in all ideologies want to escalate minor differences into major divisions. Do you feel that too, or is it just me?
I have traveled numerous times to an unnamed country, unnamed for security reasons, that is an adversarial country with our nation. Even though we do not currently shoot bullets at each other, there are strained diplomatic relations. My purpose in going was not political or subversive in any way. I went only to connect with and encourage my Christian brothers and sisters in that country. What did I find?
I was amazed, knowing I was in a country that was in a state of enmity with my nation yet the common people I connected with were loving and kind. They loved me. I loved them. Their government perhaps hated my nation, but their citizens loved me. I am still connected to those foreign brothers and sisters; they are now like family to me.
What is the point? The aerial view often looks like enemy territory but when we get on the ground, share a meal together, and talk, we are surprised by our commonality. Don’t let the two-percent-ers make enemies of us (the ninety-eight percent-ers) just so the two-percent-ers can have their money and power.
Ask yourself these questions? Do you or most of the people you know:
Want other people to be treated unfairly or unjustly?
Want other people to go hungry?
Want other people to die?
Want other people’s rights to be denied?
Want other people’s children to have poor education?
Want other people to lack the opportunity of the pursuit of peace, prosperity, and happiness?
I bet I know the answer! For any fair-minded, decent human being with half of a heart the answers to those questions would be “NO!” No, we do not want any of those bad things for anyone. I would imagine in your circle of acquaintances, it would be hard to find someone with those bad attitudes. If you did, they would be a rare foul bird. No, I do not live in a bubble; I live among many ordinary citizens who are just trying to get through life the best they can.
Most common people want everyone to be treated fairly and to prosper. I can’t say the same for those hungry for power and money. Please, you the ‘good heart-ed’, common people, don’t let them divide us! We are not enemies; we are each others’ brothers and sisters. I am not perfect and neither are you. We are all in a process of working through our brokenness, hopefully with the grace of Jesus.
The rich and the powerful start wars that common men and women die in! Don’t let them divide us! If we fight it out, the rich and powerful will gather the spoils of war resting behind iron gates, while the majority of us live in the destruction of disease, defeat and poverty. Don’t let them divide us!!!
Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV
(37) Jesus said to him, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’
(38) This is the first and great commandment.
(39) And the second is like it: ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’
(40) On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Whoever you may be, I do not want to be your enemy. I am your neighbor, give me your hand, take mine! Don’t curse me from a distance, sit at the table across from me and pour out your heart. I’ll wipe your tears and feed you bread. Don’t let them divide us!
Love God, love your neighbor—let’s start there!!
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt,
I am an ordinary man who serves an Extraordinary Savior, Jesus Christ.