Is the universe conspiring against you?

bad_week

They say that bad things happen in threes.

Like, when three well loved celebrities all die in the same week.

Or when your car breaks down, you lose your house keys, and your dog chews up your remote control.

Threes? I have no idea if that’s true.  I think it’s more likely that people tend to just group things into threes and call it a lousy week.

But what I want to talk about today are those rare and potent times in life when bad things seem to happen in sevens.  Or dozens.

Or too many to count.

Ever gone through a time like that?  When disaster lurks around every corner.  When failure appears to be the only option. When you’re no longer surprised by your own bad luck.

In other words:  A seriously, colossally messed up week.

Those are no fun.  I’ve had a few myself.  But is this really an issue of occasional bad luck?

What if the universe has conspired against you?

Maybe it’s karma for your past actions. Maybe you won (lost) some cosmic lottery.

Maybe God is mad at you and has directed all the forces of nature against you.

There are some places out there (even in the Bible) that could lead you to think that maybe God IS out to get you.  Those are typically stories in the Bible told to illustrate a different point.  Trust me, the overall message of the Bible is very different from that notion.

For instance, take a look at Luke 21:5-19.  You can click here to read it yourself.

In this passage, Jesus describes all manner of terrible calamities that may befall disciples:  False prophets, war, earthquakes, plagues, famine, being arrested, family turning against you, and even the possibility of death!

(How’s that for a seriously, colossally messed up week?)

But Jesus concludes this list by simply saying, “if you have endurance, you’ll get through it all okay”.  In other words, if you keep your faith, even when awfulness comes upon you, you’ll be okay, because you’ll still have God.

Or rather, God will still have you.

Hmm.  That seems to rule out God being the cause of your lousy week, doesn’t it?

If anything, God is your escort through the tough times.

That should make you feel a little better, although when you’re in the thick of it all, it may still be hard to appreciate.

Just hold to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and you’ll get through it eventually.

See?

Good things happen in threes, too.

Mitch

faith

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

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meteor graphic from www.mhpbooks.com