Do you remember the weather rock? It was a rock suspended by a string from a tripod of sorts. If the rock was wet, it was raining. If it was white, the weather report was snow. If the rock was moving, it was windy. If the rock and tripod were gone – TORNADO!
Technology has come a long way since the weather rock though it is hard to beat its accuracy. Predictions of storm severity have provided precious time to prepare for adverse conditions. But today, a weather event will receive hours of coverage complete with interviews of “experts” that suggest such storms are a result of global warming. Hyperbole around the weather event results in an upgrade to a climate crisis. There are many such crises today - from an epidemic to climate change, from illegal immigration to inflation, from violent crime to the foreign invasion of a sovereign nation. Hyperbole instills fear that can impede response to a genuine crisis.
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. – Matthew 24:6-8. “See to it that you are not alarmed.” – How is that possible? It is possible from the perspective of which Jesus spoke this warning – An eternal perspective. And when Paul references the “helmet of salvation” in Ephesians 6:17, he is reminding men to maintain a focus on eternity as we suit up with the full armor of God. The temporal, the here and now, can distract if the focus is not on the main thing. Today the hyperbole, be it around the weather, local events, national crises or unrest across the globe, makes it difficult to keep the main thing the main thing. And what is the main thing? To be more Christ-like today than yesterday, more tomorrow than today. To be a Kingdom influence in this world and raise a generation that follows your lead on the journey through this fallen world. God is sovereign, always at work in us and through us – remember, in all things God works for the good of those who love Him … and that we are … to be conformed to the image of His Son.- Romans 8:28 & 29.
It was just a couple of generations ago, early in the atomic era that kids in schools across the nation participated in drills for a nuclear attack. The protocol was to crouch under one’s desk in the classroom. The drill was the same for a tornado warning. While there was a certain anxiety around the drills, the lesson was to respect the threat and follow the drill protocol. There was no fear instilled, no hyperbole around the danger.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and the perspective it offers. I confess that I can get anxious about the state of our nation and the world, particularly when thinking about our kids’ kids. Then I realize I am spending more time watching the news than reading Your book. Forgive me. You are sovereign and You have a plan from eternity to eternity that I need to trust. Grant me discipline to keep the main thing the main thing and lead my family in Your Way. That is the dad You call men to be and that’s the dad kids across this nation need to see. Amen.
A faithful father keeps the main thing the main thing and leads in the Way.