Dr. James C. Denison
President, Center for Informed Faith, Dallas, TX
June 28, 2011
Asteroids, sprouts and flattened frogs
That was a close one. Asteroid 2011 MD zipped by our planet yesterday, closer to Earth than some satellites. The bus-sized rock flew over the coast of Antarctica at a height of 7,500 miles. It was the second space rock to come near us this year, after 2011 CQ1 passed within 3,400 miles of Earth on February 4.
Closer to home, health regulators have announced that alfalfa and spicy sprouts may be linked to a salmonella outbreak in five U.S. states. Since I’m not a big fan of sprouts, the news is not a significant setback. If investigators ever connect enchiladas with salmonella, however, I’m in trouble.
One other news item caught my eye this morning. According to Newsweek, we’re in the midst of a password pandemic. We own more electronics than ever before; hackers are more numerous and skilled than ever before; our financial information is available in more places than ever before. One response is “fastwords”—three simple words joined from a thought known only to you. Its inventor suggests, for example, that if you ran over a frog on your way to work, you might choose “frog work flat” as your “fastword.” That’s your devotional image for the morning.
In light of these disparate stories, which is more powerful: the visible or the invisible? The asteroid you don’t see may park on your house; the bacteria you don’t know you just ate may make you sick; the hacker you don’t see can make your life miserable. By contrast, the electricity you don’t see makes possible the images you see now; the oxygen you can’t see is keeping you alive; the brain you’ve never seen is processing the thoughts you’re thinking at this moment.
Which does our culture value more—the visible or the invisible? We measure success by quantifiables such as the model of your car, the size of your home, the prestige of your title. But the visibles will one day be invisible, while the invisibles will be visible. The King’s verdict is the only one that counts in his kingdom, and he measures success by obedience to his word and will. One day your “work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work” (1 Corinthians 3:13).
What happens then? “If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames” (vs. 14-15).
Does the King consider your Monday a success? What will he think of your Tuesday?