Living in the Age

Good morning Everyone,

My Australian calendar says so; it must be true: Spring has officially begun. While you folks in the Northern Hemisphere are think about packing away the BBQ, putting the swimming pool into hibernation, and in those extreme places, installing the storm windows and stacking an extra cord of firewood, Down Under, we’re changing our long-sleeved shirts for sleeveless slip overs to go with our board shorts. I think I actually saw a hint of frost last month in the back yard, so I’m still recovering from that bit of trauma. And so with the signs of spring come signs of hope. It’s also Fathers Day here, so the home stores are sold out of power tools and everyone’s doing their best to get together.

Some days, it feels like winter is still lingering, and I’m not just talking about the air outside. The sadness of Dawn’s “graduation” last week, while most of the family remained isolated and unable to be near, remains in our hearts. And then as if to rub salt in the wound, Lyle got a phone call from the police back at his home telling him that in his absence, their entire house had been badly burgled, with just about everything either stolen or broken. He had to fly back home, meet with the police and all the while trying to find a quiet place to grieve with his family.  We are more than thankful for their wonderful church and their people who have worked endlessly to put things back together.

As we speak, I think he’s safe and sound and hopefully on the road to recovery, but it’s been a hard week. They all need a lot of prayer.  Time like this, I’m often tempted to throw up my hands in disbelief and cry out to God, “Ah, come on!” But even as I do, I feel His arms around me, certain that God knows what He’s doing. And I believe Lyle is resting in that same assurance this week. Please remember to lift him and his family up once in awhile, okay?

A friend sent me a copy of some thoughts by C.S. Lewis that speaks right to my heart, and to all of us, as we only seem to hear bad news.   It’s in a book he wrote in 1948, long before things like Polio, the Vietnam war and you name it, and yet it still rings true. I don’t believe I could add anything, so I won’t try. Just have a read, and remember that this man was yet another real “Hero of the Faith”. He writes:

“How are we to live in an atomic age? I am tempted to reply: ‘Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of chronic pain, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”“In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways.”“It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty”.“The first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb, when it comes, find us doing sensible and human things — praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts — not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about death. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”

Well said, Mr. Lewis. Well said indeed.


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