Blah-maggedon

alien-meteor

A near collision with a rogue meteor…
Blizzards bring whole cities to a standstill…
The Pope resigns and conspiracy theorists have a field day…
The U.S. faces another doomsday economic deadline…

No, this isn’t a list of Best Picture nominees, it’s just another month here on planet earth.

We seem to have a lot of these events.  You notice?

Things like these happen and we put the suffix “-gate”, or “-mageddon”, or “pocalypse” to them: Snowpocalypse.  Benghazigate. Tax-mageddon.

It’s as if everything that happens has to be a ’10’ on a 10-point scale!

Are we really living in such dramatic times?  Or is it the media, shoving every current event down our throats?

Or is it because of our own insatiable desire for intensity that we push things so far into the red?

I’m sick of it.

I mean, a person can only hear about “Armageddon” so often before it sounds more like “Blah-maggedon”.  Yes, yes, we know, end of the world.  Yawn.

What’s to be done?

I’d just cut “Armageddon” out of my vocabulary, but I can’t do that.

Because I’ve been there.

telte

This is Tel Megiddo, in Israel.  aka “Har Megiddo”, aka “Armageddon”.  It is the site the Bible refers to when it talks about the famous end-times battle between good and evil.

There’s a reason Armageddon was chosen for this climactic battle.  As archaeologists have dug down through layers of history at this now historic location, they found evidence of many different civilizations who ruled this mountain over the years.

Actually, 26 layers.  26 civilizations.

That’s right, dating back from thousands of years before Christ, this strategic hill in Israel has been conquered and populated 26 different times.

The top layer of the hill is believed to be the stables for King Ahaz’s horses. But even as recently as World War I there was fighting to defend this choice piece of real estate.

In other words, this site that has seen centuries–millenia–of high drama.

You could say this strategic hill made a name for itself.

Despite a strong rainstorm when I was there, the place seemed pretty peaceful these days.  But it serves as a reminder to me that life on this planet has always had its news-worthy events.

Fair enough.  I’ll keep my eye on the headlines, and remember that somewhere in the world there’s always a drama happening.  There is always a battle between good and evil.  It always feels like the end of the world, for somebody.

But I’ve decided to put the bulk of my focus on other stuff.  On discipleship stuff.

On the NOT-the-end-of-the-world stuff.

We must serve as day-to-day disciples of Christ in the lives we lead and the lives we touch, with the same intensity and drive as the latest headline or Hollywood blockbuster.

Let’s just try to do it with a little less “catastrophe”…

and a little more “human interest”.

Have a great week,

Mitch

keep-calm-and-follow-jesus-253

meteor graphic from www.mhpbooks.com

The Names of Things

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In Genesis 2, God gives Adam the task of naming all the animals.

It was our first job.  The primary thing for us to do — to give and keep track of the names of things.

If that job falls now to me, God must be disappointed.

I’m not very good at noticing my surroundings, and I’m terrible at identifying things:

Birds, trees, flowers?  I know a cardinal, a weeping willow, and a rose.  That’s about it.

Clouds?  Automobiles?  They’re both pretty much a blur to me as they pass by.

Constellations? People? So much of the time I can’t seem to pull up the names when I need them.

Sometimes I feel like I’m walking around without my glasses on — only dimly aware of the world around me.

I want to see more clearly. I want to know more names of things. Not just because it’s my job, but because it’s the world I live in.

I want to pick up one of those twirly helicopter seed pod things, and be able to tell you the tree it came from.

I want to meet a person once, and then meet them again 3 months later, and be able to call them by name.

I want be able to tell you the names of all the different birds that have come to our feeder, not just the cardinals.

So how does a person learn to do that? Perhaps faith can help.

2 Corinthians 5:7 reminds me that “we walk by faith and not by sight”.

My faith tells me that God placed the spark of life in all the creatures around me.  That God somehow helped form and shape the world I live in.

It is faith that reminds me that the more I know about God’s creation, the more I know about God.

And so, I rededicate myself to the task of naming the world around me,

learning as I go, knowing that God…

is in the details.

Have a great week,

Mitch

Helicopter Seed Pod