Everybody knows what a decoy is. Well, I suppose I shouldnít make that assumption with the level of public education we have today. But Iím sure those reading this know what a decoy is. Itís anything that diverts your attention from whatís really important. Duck hunters bring home a lot of ducks because of decoys.
Today our illustrious Democratic Senate lost its attempt to impose a tax on oil companiesí profits. "Americans are furious about what's going on," declared Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. He said they want Congress to do something about oil company profits and the "orgy of speculation" on oil markets.
Yes, Americans are furious. And Iím sure there are a fair amount of brainless American sheep wanting somebody, anybody, to do something to relieve their pain. They donít care how. They just want someone to magically make it all go away and transport them back to a time when they could fill their gas tanks without taking out a loan. Hey, weíd all like that.
But taxing the profits of oil companies is a decoy. It wonít do one single thing to help any of us. Democrats know that. But thatís how stupid they believe you and I are. They bet on the fact that weíll grab for any desperate feel good measure like people in some room in hell fighting over the only fan. The sad fact is that many will go for the decoy.
For years those same politicians prevented the building of oil refineries. Now weíre paying the price and there is no quick fix. The oil companies are just easy targets for our hate and resentment, which ratchets up a notch every time we see gas prices go up before lunchtime. Iím no fan or defender of oil companies but they donít control this scene. They control a very small percentage of oil, not enough to make a big difference. No new refineries plus India and China now being major oil consumers means high prices. We pretty much made our own bed and now canít avoid lying in it. The decoy is evil because its purpose is to make us avoid reality, which is how we got into this mess in the first place. Americans love decoys. But the times are such that the price paid for following them is increasingly swift and painful. Adults donít need decoys.
In combination with decoys we have words that no longer mean anything. Or, more accurately, they mean whatever people want them to mean. Example: recently three citizens of the Greek island of Lesbos filed suit against a group of lesbian women who come to the island because it was home to the ancient Greek poet Sappho, who praised lesbian love. The plaintiffs say this disgraces the islandís name. But a spokeswoman for The Homosexual and Lesbian Community of Greece, Evangelia Vlami, says "I believe ... the other party's intentions were purely racist."
Observe what has happened over time, slowly, in trickles and handfuls until a revolution occurred without a shot being fired. If you oppose homosexuals you are now racist. At first you were insensitive, then a bigot, then a homophobe. Now youíre racist. A total transformation of meaning took place right in our faces as if weíd been paralyzed as it happened. And thatís only one example. Many of our words are now so misused that itís a surprise to look them up in a dictionary to see what they really mean. And thatís if you can find a dictionary old enough to reflect the more concrete meanings.
The collapse of language combined with leadership that is content to give us decoys instead of reality is nothing more than a downhill ride in a car with no brakes. We have those who embrace the confusion because within it they can stake a claim to their portion of the evil they have a ďright toĒ. Rights are the new language of the terminally selfish. Also, there are those who reject this collapse but do so by clinging to an inflexible morality of the past like a plank of wood from a damaged ship, clinging when they should be steering.
Yet in the midst of this seeming chaos and collapse is a new opportunity. For those who submit to deathís gravity, whether it wears its fearful or smiling face, nothing can be done except to pray for their eyes to open and be yourself worth looking at if those vacant eyes ever fall upon your example. Collapse and destruction are most painful if you only see their short term consequences. The beautiful isle of Hawaii is the result of volcanic destruction. No, Iím not saying destruction in and of itself produces good. But Godís purposes are not thwarted by destruction.
For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, A remnant of them will return; The destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness. Ė Isa. 10:22
This was spoken after a series of very harsh judgments. The destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
First, the destruction was decreed. God determined that it would happen. When we determine that something will happen, providing that we are able to bring it about, we donít always know what will come out of it. At best we see only short term effects that may exceed or fall far short of our hopes and intentions.
But God can decree destruction and cause it to overflow with righteousness because itís not possible that He could be surprised since Heís done these things from the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4).
Since that same God hasnít lost one shred of control, though appearances effectively ridicule that with most, even ourselves at times, the current chaos of our times need not be an overwhelming source of fear and meaninglessness. Our task is to learn how to adjust our eyes to the light of the kingdom of God, present tense, so that it isnít blotted out for us as street lights do stars. Thatís the renewal in the midst of destruction.
Nobody can tell you how to do it. A sincere doing of His will is your most trustworthy lighthouse (Jn. 7:17).
Read more articles by Bruce Newman or search for articles on the same topic or others.