There is a fantastic line in the movie, “The Two Towers,”. I’ll give you just a moment to finish rolling your eyes at me. One of the characters tells the king that his men will follow him “to whatever end”. It’s a wonderful sentiment of loyalty. It is also a highlighted point of concern if you are one of those men. What if the king rides of into the sea and drowns? Why should I follow him then? While the line is good, it is also very dangerous to follow such sentiments when speaking about men that we follow. But before you click out of this post, relax, this is not a political rant. I want to point out some particular points of order and concern on the chess board of the world at this moment in time.
I read the news way too much. It’s easy, I get stuck in a room with students who are not allowed to talk all day, so I end up reading a various cacophony of news sites. The headlines are never encouraging and range from, death in a nice place to nude pictures of your favorite star have surfaced, or more destruction in places where there shouldn’t be. It can be quite depressing. Don’t get me wrong the broadcasts on local news are no less filled with absolute sensationalized horse manure. Regardless of the piles of press that have to be waded through in order to find real news, there is a striking picture of the world that we live in presented.
Imagine if you will human history as a massive game of chess. We began quite a long time ago and have been moving towards some sort of endgame move. Societies have risen, fallen, been reborn, been annihilated, saved, savaged, and moved. All of this in the name of progress towards a better place. So where are we at now? Are we any closer to winning this game? Does anyone really even care? As religious person I view the game as one that we are playing against our own demise. The metaphor for me is one that we play against evil and against the darkness that humanity is so well versed in bringing to the world. Don’t agree that there is evil in the world? I am looking at the computer screen right now and the seven headlines listed are all about something bad that has happened or is happening. It would appear that the darker pieces of the board are winning.
Think about it. Iran has now told the world that they are going after Israel and have upped their nuke program, Syria(a known harbor and storage facility for chemical weapons) has said the same. There was a bombing of the US embassy in Turkey, Egypt is about to collapse, and rest of Europe appears to be at a stand still. Here at home there are children being shot in schools, taken hostage off the bus, waitresses being fired because “pastors” act like jerks, and the government resembles two groups of middles school girls who don’t like each other and hurl insults across the isle accordingly(seriously watch “Mean Girls” and then look at the reports from Washington, you might wet yourself laughing, or crying). Oh and by the way, the sun just belched out a huge plume of plasma, just a nice little icing on the cake for you there. The news is not good.
Now that may be because hall headlines do not sell news very well. It kind of reminds me of the lyrics Jon Foreman uses in his song, “Selling The News”. Look that one up and enjoy. Happiness, joy, goodness, kindness, our media fed culture has been deprived of these things. We have been spoon fed a massive amount of malnutricious junk food. Those things that would nurture us have been lost in the easy story. Thus our chess board has become bereft of lighter colored pieces. The dark is winning, not because it is better or smarter, but because we have allowed it.
We have allowed our minds to easily stray into that wild and frightening place looking for some sort of new and exciting adventure,meet we have found that the illusions of the dark feed us not well. There must come a time soon when we say no more. There must come a time when we refuse to allow the media to draw us to whatever end they would pull us toward. The Bible says remove all malice and negativity from your heart. Think on the good things such as kindness to others, love for your fellow man/woman. Now you may not be a Believer, but that still does not sound so bad.
If we would all seek those good things for one another, then perhaps we would find a better end, a brighter colored chess board. As a society we will only reap that which we have sown. The bounty and wonder of the older times of humanity is gone, it has been reaped. What then are we sowing for ourselves? Is it pain and discord? There must come a time when we say no more.
For Christians that time must be soon. We must cease to allow any leader other than Christ to direct our thoughts and actions, that goes for Pastors too (actually it goes kind of against them if they are asking you to follow them and not God’s word). It is time the world saw the light, it is time that we did such grand things for the kingdom that no longer could man mock us. It is time we were truly the hands and feet of Christ, following and doing to whatever end.