Monday, June 1, 2020

don't need a weatherman

In no way do I intend to minimize or demean the recent tragic death of George Floyd. I am as outraged and saddened as anyone. But what I'd like to point out is the cycle has begun again.

Every time an incident like this happens, the subject of racism jumps to the forefront. Calls for justice, calls for protests, calls for investigation into white supremacy, condemnation of white privilege, people standing up for solidarity against racism, calls for forums, symposiums, conferences, etc. Every celebrity and politician has to make his or her statement about it.

Nothing wrong with this at all. Evil and wrongdoing need to be stopped.

But after the outrage has died down, then what? We all have good intentions to condemn the act and call for solutions but what is the follow through? Is it enough that we've shown our sympathy and outrage and now our civic duty for humanity has been done?

Then there's the programs and seminars on race relations and all the calls for people to join together. People attend, nod their head in enthusiastic agreement, and then go home and...?

That's like going to church on Sunday and nodding your head at what is being preached, and saying, "Amen!" Then you go home and for the other six days of the week, what do you do? Sunday starts the cycle again.  Just like the next white/non-white incident will start another cycle.

Bob Dylan wrote a song called Subterranean Homesick Blues. One of the lyrics says, You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.  Just take a look around our nation and world. It's obvious things are not peachy keen, that there's problems that need to be addressed. The Bible is very clear on the cause - Sin. People are sinful, all of us.

So what's the cure?

Psalm 127:1 says in part, Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.  Solutions absent God are not going to work.

When asked what was the most important commandment, Jesus declared in no uncertain terms, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)

It begins at the individual level. It's incumbent on each of us to prayerfully live out what Jesus commanded on a daily basis, 24/7 as best we can and be the light and example for others. Action speaks louder than words, and influence on a personal level has a greater and more lasting impact than listening to a seminar or reading some academic treatise. It's all about follow-through.

You've heard of the movie Six Degrees of Separation?  It posits that everyone is six or less social connections away from each other. So the persons you or I influence in a positive way take that and influence their own connections, and so on and so forth, gaining momentum to that sixth degree. But it all starts with each of us as individuals doing our part to build on the foundation with the Lord's help - to visibly live out Jesus' two greatest commandments in our own lives.

Not easy! I sure stumble. But do we really want to make a difference?

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