It’s hard to be part of the world today. Even though we’re all connected to our home towns, our communities, our families, our church, we’re still living life apart from them. In the past year we’ve opted to stay away from the news media as much as possible. There are times we feel the need to connect, but whenever we tune in, it’s nothing but depression, grief, sadness, bigotry, hatred and all the other negativity that reaches our air waves on a daily basis.
Minneapolis in 1973 was a much different city than it is today. We moved from a small town in Wisconsin because of a job opportunity. The tallest building was the IDS tower which had just been completed the year before. Minneapolis was a cultural center, with the sophistication of a big city, but the down hominess of a kind and caring population. So much can happen in half a century. Cities grow bigger. Corruption and crime grow too. Like weeds, those tendrils of hatred and ugliness weave their way through a “Minnesota nice” community and begin to infest every area.
Time tends to change us, but when you look at history, things rarely change much. We just experience some of those changes in different ways. We react to them with different opinions. We address them sometimes out of a feeling of guilt for past actions, or because we sincerely want to see things turn around. It’s really not up to us to determine what others are thinking.
We can’t hide from every day, just by turning off the news. Last night we received a call from our son, who lives on the other side of town, to assure us that they were safe. Since we hadn’t been watching the news, we were completely unaware of a carjacking and shooting that occurred only blocks from their home. Had we known, we would’ve been worried, but our isolation from the facts kept us unaware. It didn’t change the fact that a crime occurred or that someone died in the process. By hiding from the world, we aren’t guaranteeing self-protection. By being ignorant of the truth, we can easily jump to our own conclusions and make irrational judgments.
When we’re connected to the King of the Universe, we are not guaranteed a world without fear. We’re not assured perfection in all our dealings. We’re not given a free pass to do what ever we want, because we won’t have to suffer consequences for bad behavior. We are promised that God will be with us through all of it. He will give us the wisdom to choose the right way to live. He will help us discern between good and evil. We can’t hide from Him, because He’s always there. He knows every idiosyncrasy, every fault, every sin, every misdeed and flaw. We are accountable to Him for the way we live, but only He can provide for our redemption. Instead of running away – run to Him. He is the only way.