During the Memorial Day weekend we had a family reunion in my sister’s house. I was happy to meet most of my family at one place. On the last night we gathered in the living room, sharing brownies and cookies and just talking.
I sat in a rocking chair listening to the conversation ebbing and flowing around me like the waves of the ocean. Many topics, like politics, stock market, sports, movies and concerts, were discussed. The teens were enthusiastic about technology – computer science – face book, twitter, Skype, iPods and iPads. The older generation debated on moral issues – cloning, T cells, same-sex marriage, abortion, war and illegal immigration.
It soon became evident to me that I was ignorant of most things. I could hold an intelligent conversation on Christian affairs, the Bible, and spiritual matters. I know that I am pretty good on subjects relating to cooking, sewing and home remedies. But there my knowledge ends. Apparently these were not current affairs. I could not help feeling deplorably outdated and pathetically behind times. I decided I had to do something about this sorry state of affairs. I resolved to read the Daily Newspaper, watch the TV and explore the Internet.
I faithfully kept my resolution for a couple of months. Although I gathered a lot of information and became quite knowledgeable on current affairs, there was a depressing side of it that made me feel hopeless and sad. I noticed that crime was on the increase, human life had lost its value, accidents, mental sickness, alcoholism are daily news. I was also amazed that cheating, swindling, victimization and fraud appear to be the order of the day. If you are stupid enough to fall for a scam it was your fault.
Morality and spirituality are on the decline. There is no respect for anybody, God included. We are so wise that we do not need the Ten Commandments. Our children do not need prayers in the school either. Church attendance is falling and some churches are closing their doors for they cannot afford to maintain the premises.
So, what have I gained from my quest for worldly wisdom? Where has it led me? I went back to my Bible which is the only place where answers can be found. I found my answer in the book of Ecclesiastes. The Preacher says:
“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun (Eccl.1:9)”.
In other words the issues that I considered current like alcoholism, crime, murder, deception and cruelty, were prevalent centuries ago.
Noah drank wine and became intoxicated, Delilah deceived Samson, Pharaoh degreed the massacre the innocents, Pontius Pilate condemned Jesus to die on the cross.
There is nothing new, nothing current but that which has been already in existence. The Preacher says:
“Is there anything whereof it may be said, ‘See this is new? It hath been already of old time, which was before us’ (Eccl.1:10)”.
The affairs of the world will keep on repeating itself like the spokes of the wagon wheel - up and down, up and down, until the final trumpet call sounds and then it will come to a stop. My search into the problems of current affairs ended with the Preacher’s words:
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil (Eccl.12:13 & 14)”.
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