Cue Slim Pickens…

NagasakibombIt’s one of those classic movie endings.  The bomb bay doors open.  Sitting atop an atom bomb loaded missile we see Slim Pickens, swinging his cowboy hat in the air and shouting “Yaaaaaaaaahhhhhhoooooooooooooooo!!!!!!” with great enthusiasm as he and his nuclear payload freefall through the clouds to begin the chain reaction of annihilation that started with a misunderstanding.

Cue Vera Lynn singing “We’ll Meet Again”.

The problem is “Dr. Strangelove” is a movie.  (A great one to be sure, but still a work of fiction.)  The fears and uncertainty we face today is all-too-real.  These days, even the pretense of diplomacy is off the table.  It’s all just bombast, bomb blasts and hype in the media.

Cue Michael Stipe singing “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”.

I look at this messed up world (not that it’s any more messed up than ever before – we just have more destructive toys) and I think, “What can I do about this?  How can I change things?”

Here’s the thing: I have no control over the madness that swirls around us.

Neither do you.

We can watch the news in terror and fear and worry about our future and that of our kidlets.

Or… we can choose to understand that this is exactly what Jesus said would happen

3As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

9“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10And then many will fall awaya and betray one another and hate one another. 11And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

I don’t mean to sound filled with doom and gloom.  I’m not ready to don a “The End of the World is Nigh” sandwich board and parade around downtown.

Rather, I think we have ever reason for great hope – now more than ever.  As Christians, we have nothing to fear.  Nothing to worry about.  No need to be anxious – about the bigger world picture or the smaller view of our individual personal lives.

Now is the perfect time to lighten up, follow Christ with great abandon, love one another and ignore the naysayers.  Keep putting God first.  Keep striving toward the goal.  Forget the junk that divides us and weakens us and worries us.  Trust in God.  He’s in control, not us.

I believe the heaviness of everything going on weighs us down.  Now more than ever, we have to face the world with courage rooted in faith, love rooted in Christ, and hearts lifted high.

Will we face hard times in life?  Of course.  Everybody does.  But remember… we follow the Risen Christ, the One True God.  He has already won.  We just need to hang in and hang on and keep our eyes focused upward.

Cue Rich Mullins singing “Hold Me Jesus”.

Love one another.  Live in peace.  And know that you are loved deeper and greater than you’ll ever comprehend!