Pentecost 79

Pentecost 79
My Psalm 79

Perseverance

Obscurity; extinction; death. Some would say this is the fear of mankind and yet, it is also its history. For those Jews during World War II who faced the attempt of one man to wipe out their culture and religion, it seemed as though they would all be dead. Their entire culture was about to have the sun set on it as six million were killed by the Nazi regime under the leadership of Adolf Hitler.

I don’t wish to get all caught up in a creation versus evolution debate right now. For one thing, neither side can really justify nor prove in a court of law that the other is completely wrong. Take a moment and reread my last sentence. I did not say they could not prove their case. I said they could not completely and undeniably disprove the other’s point of view.

I enjoyed watching Court TV when it was on the air and while I understand the concerns with cameras in the courtroom, I think they do more good than harm. I originally began watching because I wanted my children to gain a better usage of the English language and expected the lawyers to provide that. Regrettably, they fell short in my expectations and I discovered they might have passed the LSAT’s and law school as well as the American Bar Exam but very few were excellent English grammar and oral recitation students. Still, they all did one thing to the best of their ability and that was to attempt to disprove what the other side was saying.

Therefore, put aside your own preferences for believing in the original first twenty-four hours of the very first man and woman and look at mankind one hundred years after that. How did we get from there to here? How did we learn to live in our environment? Whether you believe Adam and Eve looked like Hugh Jackman – in any of his movie roles – and Heidi Klum – in any of her Halloween costumes – or they crawled out of the ocean and learned to walk upright, you have to agree that they were affected by their environment, just as we are today in the twenty-first century.

Several years ago I lived in an area hit by multiple tornados. The entire power grid was knocked offline for five days in our area. While practically no hobby of mine required electricity or refrigeration or heat and though I had plenty of nonperishable foods and the temperature was a lovely moderate one, I realized within three hours how much I loved the creature comforts electricity and refrigeration provided. Camping may be fun on vacation but when one does it daily in one’s house, it is not as much fun. My hobbies might date back to the seventeenth century but my preference for living was definitely twenty-first century! Why? It is because I am a product of my time and lifestyle. I have been affected by the world around me. I have evolved into the person I am. [Hopefully tomorrow will find me evolved in a better sense.]

We are constantly learning about early man and our evolution from near extinction at times to where we are today. A podcast entitled “Nature” broadcast on July 2, 2014 that German research had uncovered evidence that Neanderthal man consumed more vegetables than previously thought. The average man who claims to be a “meat and potatoes kind of guy” can no longer blame it on his heritage. Science has also discovered the reasons Tibetans are able to avoid hypoxia, a problem with breathing at higher altitudes. Their bodies have evolved in such a way as to cope with the thin air.

What about faith and spiritual beliefs? Do these evolve? In his book “The Evolution of Faith”, Philip Gulley feels that faith should always be seen as a work in progress. Gully is a well-known Quaker minister who wrote the book “If the Church Were Christian”, a guide in which he advocated a flexible belief that would enable the believer to successfully face to the challenges of living in the modern world.

Gulley asks: “But what if there were another way? What if God wanted us to grow and change, both in our theology and our beliefs? “ Instead of looking for answers from the world, Gulley invites the reader to develop his/her own apologetics, a belief system open to change.

We often hear people say “the good ole days” but in reality, more infants died, more mothers died in childbirth; fewer people lived past the age of fifty years; people living on one side of the country seldom if ever saw family on the other side. In short, the “good ole days” had their shortcomings. A cancer diagnosis is still a very scary thing and hopefully avoided with healthy living but it is not the death sentence that it was fifty years ago. We have evolved in the fields of science, medicine, technology better than we have in interpersonal relationships.

Most of how we respond to others is based on a belief system, even for agnostics and atheists. We must be open to changing and growing if we are to persevere in life. Growth is seldom easy and yes, sometimes it is painful. It is, however, an absolute necessity, is we want to see the sunrise of tomorrow.

My Psalm 79

Dear Lord, maker of all, father/mother of all:
We have failed.
We have taken what you gave us
And we have not been wise with it.
We are suffering, O Lord.
We plea for your mercy and grace upon us.
We need your help, Lord.
Please help us so that we might return to your favor
And proclaim the goodness of life in all ways to all things and all people.
Please do not fail us, O God, as we have failed you.

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