The ride home was hot and tedious as always.
A low growl was forming in my stomach as I peeled my hand off the leather seat to adjust the air conditioning. It was barely functional.
The turn signal had been beeping for five minutes straight as we sat in traffic, sweltering under the weight of a July afternoon. My dad flicked the radio on as a last-ditch effort at escape.
The dial was set to a news station. Immediately the low hum of the engine was overtaken by a monotone voice repeating the death toll of the most recent terrorist attack.
One after another. Day after day.
“That’s enough.” I snapped, changing the station. “I hate the news.”
But as Taylor Swift and her synthesizer warbled into existence, I struggled with what I’d just done. I don’t need to hear more depressing current events. My mind argued. God is in control anyway. What will happen will happen. Good will be victorious eventually.
And while Biblically that’s true, there’s still something about what I did that bothers me. I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks the way I did that day. “God is in control” can, in some ways, become a comfortable mantra. It doesn’t matter who’s in power, it doesn’t matter how many people die, and it doesn’t matter if our nation falls…God is in control.
He is. I’m not denying that. But let’s turn for a moment to Mark 13.
“Watch! Be alert! For you don’t know when the time is coming. It is like a man on a journey, who left his house, gave authority to his slaves, gave each one his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to be alert. Therefore be alert, since you don’t know when the master of the house is coming—whether in the evening or at midnight or at the crowing of the rooster or early in the morning. Otherwise, he might come suddenly and find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to everyone: Be alert!” (Mark 13:33-37)
Is turning off the radio every time we hear a disturbing story a way of sleeping? I’m one of those who tend to shy away when told the end times are near. In truth, I don’t know whether they are or not. But if they are, I want to be ready – and hiding from the signs doesn’t seem like the greatest way to do that.
We are all called to be warriors – no matter our age, gender, occupation, or social standing. In my experience, knights and soldiers don’t sit in front of their T.V.’s hoping the battle will pass them over. They sharpen their weapons and train for the inevitable.
It’s easy to say God is in control and turn off the radio. But may I suggest that it isn’t Biblical?
Maybe, possibly, there’s an army lining up on our doorstep. Maybe, possibly, we’d be fools to ignore them.
Perhaps we should listen, learn, and try our best to understand.
Just a thought.
Maybe you don’t agree with me. That’s okay. But I’d love to hear what you think, so write a comment or find me in person and we’ll talk about it!