45. We Can Afford to Wait
The world do move, they say, and times change. And this bromide, or another like it and just as bad, is supposed to justify the habit of denouncing everything old and taking up everything new, no one apparently stopping to consider that often the only fault to be found with the one is that it is old and the only virtue attaching to the other is that it is new.
One thing seems to be quite forgotten: the world moves and times change but people remain the same always. Just as a pendulum remains fixed at the top while it swings back and forth from one extreme to another, so the human race remains basically unchanged while it moves through its limited arc. Men are always the same while they change, like styles in ladies' clothes; whatever the fashion is today, wait a bit and it will be back where it was a few years ago. And the "new" style will be hailed as enthusiastically as if it had not been all the rage only a short while before.
No responsible person will deny that some changes made by the race over the years have been improvements, and so may have represented progress and advance, though just what we are supposed to be advancing toward has not been made very clear by our leaders. And it would seem to be difficult to show that we are moving toward an end when we do not know what or where that end is, or even if such an end exists at all.
To a Christian, conditioned as he is to observing life from above and judging all things in the light of eternal values, the modem feverish devotion to the newest invention and the latest happening seems more than a little ridiculous. The only parallel we can think of at the moment is that of a deadly serious and fanatically-determined dachshund chasing breathlessly after its tail, a tail, incidentally, which is not there because it has previously been removed. Add a large number of other dachshunds, bespectacled and solemn, writing books to prove that the frustrated puppy's activity is progress, and you have the picture.
Christians have often been accused of being reactionary because they cannot get up any enthusiasm over the latest scheme that someone thinks up to bring in the millennium. They will not mount up and go galloping off in all directions every time some come- lately patron of circular progress delivers a speech; and the world cannot forgive them. Well, it is not to be wondered at. A real Christian is an odd number anyway.
He feels supreme love for One whom he has never seen,
talks familiarly every day to Someone he cannot see,
expects to go to heaven on the virtue of Another,
empties himself in order to be full,
admits he is wrong so he can be declared right,
goes down in order to get up,
is strongest when he is weakest...
richest when he is poorest,
and happiest when he feels worst.
He dies so he can live,
gives up in order to have,
gives away so he can keep,
sees the invisible,
hears the inaudible,
and knows that which passes knowledge.
And all the while he may be confounding his critics by his unbelievable practicality: his farm may be the most productive, his business the best managed, and his mechanical skill the sharpest of anyone in his neighborhood.
The man who has met God is not looking for something - he has found it; he is not searching for light - upon him the Light has already shined. His certainty may seem bigoted, but his is the assurance of one who knows by experience. His religion is not hearsay; he is not a copy, not a facsimile print; he is an original from the hand of the Holy Ghost.
We have not here described a superior saint - merely a true Christian, far from perfect and with much yet to learn; but his firsthand acquaintance with God saves him from the nervous scramble in which the world is engaged and which is popularly touted as progress.
No doubt we shall yet hear many a tin whistle and see many a parade bravely marching off toward the Four Freedoms or the Universal Brotherhood of Mankind or the Age of Atomic Progress, and we will be expected to fall into step. Let's be cautious. We are waiting for a trumpet note that will call us away from the hurly-burly and set in motion a series of events that will result at last in a new heaven and a new earth.
We can afford to wait.
Insights of the past for the present
Root of the Righteous - A.W. Tozer
ON THE BOOK SHELF
May your insights be worthy.