I found myself in a peculiar situation these last few days while the world around me celebrated the New Year. As I'm sure many of you experienced, this is a time when PLW and I typically reconnect with friends whom we see once or twice a year. It's the holidays and there is a certain sentimentalism that occurs among acquaintances we see infrequently.
When this friend brought up the subject of people turning their guns in for money, I was hopeful that our conversation would turn to something that had some real relevance. But I soon learned that this younger woman didn't really want to know what it meant; she was totally unaware of the proposed legislation that would limit gun ownership. When she proclaimed that things just felt real scary in the world, I hoped she would listen to some calm advice about what to be looking for and how to prepare for different scenarios. I realized that I would get nowhere when she asked, "EMP, what's that?" When I explained it as simply as I could, her response was just as I expected. "I can't deal with that. I know I'm in denial, but I just can't go there."
We then switched to a topic that gave me a small amount of hope. Their young daughter was doing well in her first year of school. Although she and her husband have enrolled their only child in a religious private school, I sadly noted that, as a family, there is no real spiritual foundation. Private faith-based education is just the social paradigm that qualifies one to be a part of the upwardly mobile Generation X. Needless to say, I felt completely disassociated from this once close friend.
Another get-together found us in the company of several families for an old-fashioned sleepover at the country lodge of one of our oldest friends. Kids of all ages ran and played outdoors; we sat by a fire pit and enjoyed the events and exploits of "we, the common folk."
Inevitably, the talk turned to current events, and such topics as the Fiscal Cliff, Gun Control and the future of our country. All of these folks are professed Christians, but when the discussion went deeper and PLW and I shared some of what we have discerned from our extensive Bible study, one of the women commented, "You make it sound like the End of the World." We assured her we were in no way making any kind of predictions, but the Bible does say to "Watch" and "Be aware of the Signs." One of the men, who has recently been hungry for Biblical knowledge and is actively seeking answers, jumped on this conversation, and it just spilled out of him --- he had a strong desire to share what is being revealed to him as he gets closer to the Lord. Once again, his wife made it clear that she doesn't want to deal with "any of the bad stuff" and will just go to heaven before it all happens. When I gently reminded her that there is no promise in the Bible that she will escape such "bad times", she insisted that she was better off and happier if she just kept her head in the sand.
I know this may sound delusional, but I'm wondering if that's why He took me down some of the paths I've traveled. I've always been unconventional and taken the solitary path; I've never been a follower or needed to be "part of the crowd." I seem to see things clearer than most, and am simply unable to pretend that "it's all good."
I don't claim to have a direct line to God and His plan, but I do have a sense that He is speaking to those "who have ears to hear and eyes to see." My responsibility is to stay tuned in and listen for His direction, whatever it may be. As this long weekend has shown, that obviously means I may not be on the same wavelength as others in my life. But I am extremely blessed that somehow God managed to bring PLW into my life; another drummer that marches to a different beat. Fortunately, we have both arrived at the same forks on the same path at the same time. I'm not sure what roads our friends are traveling, but I wish they would realize that closing their eyes to the potholes and their ears to the alarm bells means they will most assuredly miss God's signposts and deliverance. What a shame to ignore God's voice while listening to the Enemy's whispers of contentment and security.
Ecclesiastes 11:9 "You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment."