May You Live In Interesting Times
(By Ken Steel)
“May you live in interesting times”, thought by many (probably wrongly) to be an ancient Chinese curse, with the meaning that life is better in “uninteresting times” of peaceful boredom than “interesting times” of stress and anxiety. As we look around our world right now how would you describe the times we are going through? With forest fires in many countries, climate changes, floods and storms abounding. Nation, posturing and threatening Nation, plagues of insects, not to mention crime. Did I mention the Covid-19 Pandemic? Certainly interesting at the very least. In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, we are told:
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than Lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
People may ask where is Jesus in all this? The obvious answer, right with us all the way. We only need to trust him as our Saviour and have faith in him and his promises to bring us through.
There have been mentions of Signs and Portents of the end of the world. How many times must this have been thought throughout history? However, it is foretold in Scripture, so it’s just as well to keep our wicks trimmed and our lamps filled with oil.
As we walk with the Lord so he will always be with us, and if ever we stumble or stray, he will even forgive us if we are truly repentant.
The phrase “do not be afraid” is written in the Bible 365 times. That’s a daily reminder from God to live every day being fearless. Comfort and wisdom can always be found in God’s word, but do we really listen?
Sometimes we only hear that which we want to hear, or we can choose to misunderstand what we read or hear to suit our own wishes. We need to be more discerning with the Word of God which is given to us. Do we listen to him, hear what he says, then obey him? Or do we follow our own way and do what suites us. How do we decide which voice to listen to, which voice to heed?
There are so many voices, urging us to do this, buy that, go here and there, eat that, and much more. We need to pray for the gift of recognising which is the voice of God.
Lord, grant me a listening ear and a heart ready to discern your voice among all those making empty promises of superficial happiness. May I find deep joy in responding to your call to build the kingdom of love, peace, truth and justice on earth. Amen.