SPIRITUAL MATTERS: Decide to divide or choose to cruise
WE’RE still at it! Though Anzac Day remembrances have faded, together with our horror, mortification and indignation at how ordinary people have suffered and died in terrible inhumane conflicts, on a smaller scale, intolerable strife still tears people apart. It’s not difficult to see that we often decide to quarrel and play host to problems, troubles and arguments.
As infants and young children, we stamped our feet, threw our toys down in anger and quarrelled with our siblings. Through our teenage years, we bullied – or were bullied – while rebelling against authority at school and at home. Then, in our adult years, just as many points of division and contention arise with others. On the sports field; in the office; in our business dealings; and in politics!
Ah. Politics! The chaos, strife and division that characterise life in the US during the Presidential Election at the moment is mind-boggling. Our news media can’t seem to get enough of the drama! “America Burning” was the headline in a newspaper this morning – against the background of a conflagration!
Here in Australia, tensions with China are escalating, with trade at the pointy end of the conflict.
The sad reality is that for societies of human beings, on both a personal and universal level, strife is endemic!
Jesus himself endured sustained attacks on his credibility and his message from the religious powerbrokers of his day. Time and time again he deflected the malice. But on the odd occasion, he did call them out for their spiteful scheming, and it was this more than anything else that hardened their resolve and grim determination to destroy him.
The interesting thing is that as human beings, we’ve been endowed with both free-will and choice: The ability to make decisions. So we can choose the direction we wish our lives to take. We can choose to love or hate. We can choose to perpetuate wrong and exacerbate it, or to act in a way that will heal wounds and release the endorphins of goodwill.
One of the problems is that clear-cut choices are not always on the options list. A shocking story of impossible choices emerged in the theatre of that last great World War. Winston Churchill was forced to make an extremely painful choice. The British secret service had broken the Nazi code and informed Churchill that the Germans were going to bomb the city of Coventry.
He had two alternatives. He could order the evacuation of the citizens and save hundreds of lives. An obvious choice perhaps – but this would have revealed to the Germans that their code had been broken. Alternatively, he could take no action – thus signing the death warrants of hundreds of people in Coventry. However, if the codes kept being broken and information flowing, many more lives would certainly be saved. Churchill chose the second option!
We would hope never to have to make a decision like the one Churchill faced. But in a sense, we all have to make a life or death choice. God tells us that we must choose between Jesus – the way, the truth and the life – or eternal, spiritual separation from Him. Not so tough a choice really. And now I’m cruisin’!