I am convinced that when I was in high school in the mid-90's, events like this happened just as frequently as they do now. I am sure I vaguely heard of earthquakes, wars, tsunamis, and other world changing events. However, because I lacked access to in-depth knowledge of events they merely became headlines that came and went without much impact on my life. Surely my young, naive, immature, self-centered life and faith played a part in my apathy, but the other reality was that I didn't have CNN.com and YouTube clips at my disposal. In today's world, you can do a simple Google search or go to a news website like CNN and within 30 seconds you have up to the minute information about any newsworthy event going on in the world with video along with it. Yesterday, I was able to view the chaos and devastation that happened in Japan with my own eyes....from Philadelphia....thousands of miles away. 15 years ago this wasn't possible unless you lived there, or you saw it on the evening news or read it in the newspaper the next day. Because of this, our world has shrunk and we are now more informed than ever....Since I can see and hear from Japan, and Libya, and Egypt, and Haiti, my heart (filled with faith and God's love as a Follower of Jesus) is moved towards prayer, petition, compassion, and action.
I was all prepared to speak on Libya on Tuesday....now I am carving out time for Japan. That is our world today. Since our world is also fallen and depraved, we are hit with a never ending onslaught of issues we can be a part of as ambassadors of Christ. I often see 4 different responses from Christians in these times of crisis and hurt. The 4 typical responses I observe are either a: spirit of FEAR, a sense of being OVERWHELMED, a movement to PRAYER, or a drive to ACTION. To be honest, I tend to fall more in the "overwhelmed" camp. Its usually a mix of spirit and flesh battling in me. In the holy part, I want the world to be rid of violence, strife, hurt, and suffering (i.e. injustice). In my flesh, I long to be God and tackle issues apart from God's power. Its a tension I often live with and one God is actively addressing in my life. What He is constantly teaching me and bringing back to mind are the simple words of Mother Teresa, "We cannot do GREAT things, only SMALL things with great love."
Which of the 4 responses do you tend to have? Fear leading to isolation and self-centeredness/interest? Being overwhelmed leading to apathy or paralysis? Prayer resting in God's sovereignty and actively petitioning the Creator of the world for intervention? Or action to live for something beyond yourself? Maybe its a mixture of a few...or all four?
I personally long to be a man of God participating actively in the Kingdom of God, but only through the divine power of the Holy Spirit...