Tragic events cause many to question God’s role in our lives…
It has been eight years today since the attack on students in Columbine High School. Since then, we have seen many other violent attacks on the public, including the life-changing events of 9/11. The reality is that our children in the United States are dying everyday due to violence, abuse, and neglect. Everyday schools receive bomb threats (I was shocked to hear that the school districts of the greater Pittsburgh area report 50 bomb threats a year- that is almost one a week), children are bullied, abused at home, live in substandard conditions, and are misused or just plain neglected. Then a day like Monday happens at Virginia Tech, where an angry young person wipes out the lives of as many as he can around him, and suddenly this everyday violence we live in comes to the surface one more time and grabs our attention.
All of this causes a flurry of conversation about guns, mental health, education, parenting and society in general. It causes some in and outside of the Christian community, and other faiths for that matter, to wonder “Where is God? Why does God let this happen? What is the purpose?”
The reality is, and this is nothing new, God is here just as He always has been. Here to offer comfort, care, and the presence of the Holy Spirit to those in need. But most of us have trouble seeing that because we don’t look for God. We don’t help our children look for God. We don’t teach them that a relationship with God is critical to who they are, and to who they will become.
Instead, the average American spends 18 hours a week in front of a TV, 35 hours a week in leisure time and eating, more than 40 hours a week working, 45 hours a week sleeping and only 1 hour every other week- that’s 30 minutes a week, active in a faith community.
Among these statistics, time spent in sleeping and involvement in the body of Christ has been decreasing over the years. These are the two things that are probably the most critical for us in our efforts to become balanced and whole human beings. Lack of sleep leads us to frustration and irrational behavior. Lack of being in the body of Christ leads us away from being who God intended us to be, and what God intends for us to do. It creates a chasm between us and God, perhaps one so large that we can no longer see God present in our lives. It also opens the doors to the evils of the world to creep into our souls and lead us to behaviors that work against God and our neighbors. In the end, all of the things that replace a relationship with Jesus provide no fulfillment, no purpose, and no hope for today or tomorrow.
Is that the message we want our children to hear? Well, it certainly seems to be the one we are teaching. Our children see and live in a world of hatred and violence. They see and experience that we seem to have too much to do to really care about them. We blame institutions, society, and others around us instead of taking the bull by the horns and proclaiming to everyone, everywhere, in all that we say and do…A saving relationship with God through Jesus Christ is more important than anything else in life!
We wonder, where is God? I am sure that God is still wondering, as He has for years and years, where are we?
(There will be no podcast this week. They will resume next week.)