Dr. James C. Denison
President, Center for Informed Faith, Dallas, TX
October 29, 2010
Jon Stewart, C.S. Lewis and hope
Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” is just a day away. Organizers have tightly guarded the program, but that didn’t deter a college student who said: “I like the fact that I am going to something and I have no idea what will happen there. But I know I will have a good time.” This morning’s New York Times quotes one participant: “I felt like my way of thinking was finally being represented.”
Do you remember a time when there was so much unrest in the nation?
If you’re satisfied with the direction of our country, know that the next four people you meet disagree with you. This morning’s USA Today website reports that Americans are unhappy about how things are going, by a four to one margin. It’s been nearly seven years since a majority of Americans in the USA Today/Gallup Poll were satisfied with the nation’s direction.
This is not good news for incumbents, as the final weekend of campaigning before mid-term elections begins today. Most analysts predict that Republicans will regain control of the House and narrow significantly the Democratic majority in the Senate. Matt Bennett, a veteran of the Clinton White House, explains: “Part of it is profound unhappiness with how Washington is working. . . . There’s a sense that America is facing a tougher time than it has in modern memory.”
I think he’s right, and not just because my Texas Rangers were replaced by the Strangers in last night’s World Series debacle. On this day in 1929, Wall Street crashed on “Black Tuesday,” beginning the Great Depression. Things aren’t that bad today, of course, but there seems to be a genuine sense of unrest in the country. Unemployment is at 9.2%; the foreclosure crisis continues to spread; the “jobless recovery” doesn’t feel much like a recovery for most of us.
How would God redeem these days? First, by drawing us from self-reliance to Spirit dependence. C. S. Lewis was right: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
Second, by reminding us that this temporal world is a means to an eternal end. Lewis again: “Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.” Jesus’ best friend taught us that “the world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17). Whose desires are you serving today?
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