Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Beware...do not be led astray...

They asked him, "Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?" And he said, "Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, 'I am he!' and, 'The time is near!' Do not go after them."
(Luke 21:7-8, NIV)

I am always surprised that we seem to have decided that the only "signs" worth discovering are those that signal the end. No one ever seems to be calling attention to the positive signs of God’s activity, to the breaking through of light or hope or insight or justice. For my own part, I can get so focused on nuclear threats, sectarian violence, ecological disasters created by man, and constant natural tragedies (forest fires, droughts, you name it) that I can buy into this idea that the end is near.

Is it possible that the reason that so many of us are so sure there is no good news is that we have never been encouraged or trained to look for it, to identify it? Do I enter into each new day intent on seeing the hand of God in the midst of our activities and encounters? Or am I so sure that everything is in decline that when I'm confronted by a sign of God’s grace, I argue against its significance—even deny its reality?

Jesus said, "Beware," and he wasn't just kidding. "Do not be led astray." I have to be constantly reminded to let God determine and shape the future (it's not as if I have a choice - God wins on this one, every time!). If I'm willing to do that, I'm usually pleasantly surprised by what God has in store. In the meantime, for today I'm going to watch for the signs of hope, the evidence of faith, the marks of love that will appear if my eyes are open to them. If I turn my head the right way, I'm pretty sure they'll be easy to see.

Open my eyes, O Lord, to the way you are working in the world. Help me to focus less on its demise and more on its promise and mine. Amen.

1 comment:

Tony Myles said...

Awesome thoughts... I'm tracking...