Yes, it many ways, this seems to be an awful day. Yesterday’s events in Boston are not as extreme as those from September 2001, but still shocking and devastating nonetheless. Someone decide to interrupt Patriots Day celebrations with a most un-patriotic act.
There are a lot of things going on in the world, even beyond those in Boston. Since I doubt that there will be time to write singular blogs on all of these, I’ll hit the highlights.
1. I won’t be writing much that focuses exclusively on the bombings in Boston – There are plenty of people taking care of this. Blogs, articles, facebook posts, tweets, etc. are taking care of everything that needs to be directly stated regarding the incident at the Boston Marathon. I’m sure I’ll have some connected comments, but there is very little that I can say that isn’t already being said.
Perhaps this makes me cynical, but I’ve almost stopped listening to the coverage. At some point, it becomes self-torture to continue observing something that is so disheartening. Our commitment is to continue in faith and in prayer even in the face of such faithless acts.
2. Facebook continues to drop on my priority list – Love connecting with church people, old friends, etc. Hate reading much of the ignorance that seems to pile up on Facebook.
I’m not talking about opinions, because we all have those and not everyone will like them. I’m talking about the photoshopped conspiracy theories, re-posts of misinformed articles, and outright false information that gets passed along…because if it’s on the internet, it must be true, right?
My suggestion: Be careful what you believe and check the facts before re-posting. It is especially critical for Christians to be as accurate as possibly in what we say. (And that means checking the info in this blog as well, and calling me out if I get it wrong).
3. I wish I had as much time on my hands as some golf fans do – Apparently, if you see someone (say, Tiger Woods, for example?) commit a violation while you’re watching a golf tournament on TV, you can call in to CBS/other covering network, report the violation, and a penalty will be assessed. A lot of people wanted Tiger to withdraw from the Masters this past weekend because a fan called in a penalty.
I have three words for golf fans: Get a life! And that goes for the PGA as well. I plan to call in every holding penalty committed against the Pittsburgh Steelers this season…do you think anyone will even pick up the phone???
Sorry, but in the difficulty of this Tuesday, I thought a random sports comment might add some humor and show just how unimportant our typical “worries” truly are.
4. There is nothing more uplifting than seeking and searching for the truth of Christ in the scripture – At least five times in the last week, I’ve had some intense, meaningful, and very open discussions with people at church about Jesus as revealed to us in scripture. All of these people asked very open-minded, honest questions about Jesus and our traditional interpretations of His ministry to us.
These are the most refreshing moments in ministry. We didn’t talk about how “wrong” everyone else was, or how we had all the answers or all the truth. We just explored the questions, and worked towards something resembling an answer. And we agreed that Christian faith is not always about having the answers, but learning to ask more questions. Now that’s a conversation that will blow your hair back.
5. Re-thinking the phrase “Everything happens for a reason” – That commentary gets tossed around a lot, particularly in the face of a tragedy. We need to be very careful about the use of this sentence.
Everything does happen for a reason…but I’m not sure that it’s always God’s Reason. That’s a pretty drastic assumption to say that God wanted a bomb to go off that killed an 8-year old child.
Perhaps a better way to say this is that God brings reasons out of everything, even the worst things, that human beings can do, even to one another. I have no doubt that the events of Monday, April 15 are an opportunity for Christians to stand with/pray for/grieve for those who are suffering. It’s an opportunity to shed tears over the heroic efforts of so many people. It’s an opportunity for us to oppose the perpetrators of terror and stand united as Americans, and human beings, against inhumanity.
Those are lessons that bring some vague semblance of “good” out of such incidents. It’s not God’s reason that makes these events happen, but it is His grace that allows us to persevere even in the face of them. And that does produce an ongoing hope that we ALL need in the face of struggle and tragedy.
6. Another struggle from April 15 – Want to know why our government is so poorly-run? They can’t even get into the 21st century. Want proof? Try filing an online tax return. Even the ability to do so is run by companies that have found a way to make a profit off this process…and it’s easier to buy a car, book a vacation, apply for a job or get a credit card online than it is to report your income to the government.
Yes, Monday, April 15, 2013 is one that I’d like to forget. But even in the face of a “Terrible Tuesday”, God gives us hope even in the face of struggle. Some days, that gives us the faith we need to make it to the next one, and hold to the promise that it will somehow get better.