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Perceptions #200135

"A Time to Reflect"

by Monroe Hawley
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

As this is written a rash of terrorist attacks against our country is occurring. Terrorists have declared war against the United States. The loss in terms of lives, damage, and suffering may not be determined for months or years to come. A television reporter comments that our lives have been changed forever.

Suddenly we are confronted with stark reality. We see unabashed evil staring us in the face. Evil is everywhere around us, but we are so accustomed to it that we easily minimize its presence. Evil always brings pain and suffering, but if it does not directly affect us it is easy to ignore because it isn't our business.

We have been jolted out of our complacency, as were the ancient Babylonians in the story recorded in Daniel 5. The Medes and Persians had surrounded Babylon, but inside the impenetrable city walls the rulers were engaged in an orgy as if nothing was wrong. Suddenly the fingers of a hand wrote on the palace wall the word of impending doom. That night the enemy found a way in, the city fell and the empire collapsed.

This catastrophe should be a clarion call to American people, yes, and to Christians as well, to re-examine our values. We live in an affluent society in which the pursuit of pleasure and affluence are the guiding stars. For many lust and instant self-gratification are the most important things in life. In keeping with that philosophy, television has been taken over by "reality shows" in which people go to ever increasing extremes in search of thrills. The programs would not even be on the air if the listeners were not identifying with them. Suddenly the true reality of pain and suffering caused by evil has revealed the trivialities of a corrupted society. We are reaping the results of contemporary values in broken homes, alienated children, and a drug culture that seeks to engulf society itself.

It is likely that in the months ahead many people, shaken by today's events, will re-focus their attitudes in search of something better than what they have. Those of us who are committed to following the principles of Jesus need to be ready to share with them the hope that we have in Him.

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