“That’s Ridiculous!”

2016-17-pic“That’s Ridiculous!” Those words are very close to my thoughts way back in 1975 when the teacher handed me a copy of Weekly Reader. Weekly Reader was an educational newspaper distributed to kids in the U.S. school system. What caused such incredulity my nine-year-old brain? A simple math problem: “Your Age + 25 = How old you will be in the year 2000.” I literally remember thinking, “That’s ridiculous! I’ll never be that old!” Even at nine, the forces of cynicism and faith were shaping my world view.
On the side of cynicism, was the nuclear arms race between the U.S. and Russia. My nascent views on world affairs were being formed by nightly news reports that graphed the numbers of nuclear submarines, warheads and megatons of destructive force owned by the two superpowers. I remember tests of the Emergency Broadcasting System and videos of entire towns disintegrating in the aftermath of one nuclear detonation. All of this had produced a nine-year-old nihilist who could not imagine the world surviving long enough for me to reach the age of thirty-four.
Faith … or the religious leanings of my mother, had its own chilling effect on my thoughts of the future. I was living in the religious aftermath of Hal Lindsey’s 1970 End-times, best-seller, The Late, Great Planet Earth. In 1972, Russel Doughten had released “A Thief in the Night” depicting a modern and sensationalistic interpretation of the events of the book of Revelation. The movie seemed crafted to make a Christians doubt their salvation, and it worked on me. I was convinced that Christ would return before I reached adulthood and was pretty sure I wouldn’t make the cut.
So here we are in 2017! Is Christ going to return and bring human history to a close? Yes … I believe God’s Word teaches that. So … what happened? 2 Peter 3:9 explains, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Welcome to 2017, another year of our Lord’s Grace. What will you do with it?