We just watched fireworks not very many days ago. Some of us watched them while lying on our backs in a park with a crowd of people around us. Some of us sipped something from a cup while nestled in a lawn chair near the shore and saw the result of someone’s magnificent efforts across a lake. Some of us crowded around a small stash of tiny fireworks and enjoyed their valiant sparks as only family members can.
We oohed and we ahhed. We clapped at our favorites. Maybe we remembered the initial idea – that these explosions were reminders of “the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air” and how our flag, the symbol of our free nation, was still there at the end of it all.
But while we watched those fireworks, more likely than not we forgot one thing. We didn’t think about who was setting them off. Unless there was an error, it’s likely we didn’t notice much about the initial spark that started them. We couldn’t trace the outlines of those folks. It was too dark. They were too far away.
I love 4th of July fireworks. At the end of the show, though, I always feel a little overwhelmed. There are eventually so many explosions, it’s hard to take them all in. Look at that one! See the one there! I think that one’s the most astounding of all! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
That feeling I get after fireworks is now part of every day life. The climate is too cold! It’s too hot! We have to stop the changing temperature by doing this! No, that’s not right; we have to do that! If we do this it will adversely affect that – which anyone with half a brain knows would be terrible! Someone was shot! Oh no! Now a lot of someones were bombed! We should do this! No, that thing would be much better! We shouldn’t eat that thing anymore! Wait! It’s actually good for us! We should really stay away from that! Someone cheated! Someone lied! Someone shouldn’t be blamed for his own behavior since he had a tough childhood! Someone should be blamed not only for his behavior but that of those around him! A woman should have the right to abort her baby if she doesn’t want it! Spanking children is wrong! Sex can be decided by a person, not nature! Marriage should have parameters! Marriage should be available to everyone and everything – it’s about love! What people do in the privacy of their own homes is their business! We should limit privacy to protect ourselves! Someone offended someone else! Now more people are offended! Truth is relative! Just because you believe something doesn’t make it true for someone else! There is no truth and you’re not only insensitive, but all kinds of nasty things if you say there is!
Remember when we knew we didn’t have all the answers? When we prayed over big and small problems during prayer meeting on Wednesday nights and every day at home? When our president would use God’s name with reverence rather than as a prop? When the eyes of a majority were fixed on Jesus? Fixed: meaning focused.
If you ask me, someone’s doing a brilliant job of distracting us. Next time – and there will be a next time before you blink – you hear a new thing on the news, or see it on your computer or phone, or read about it in the newspaper, or listen to those around you talk about it; think about the thing no one else is seeing. Think about the *source.
Video: Youtube, Fireworks filmed with drone, drone hub; *John 8:44b, *Romans 1:25-32