Why So Surprised?

“I’m not surprised by hardly anything anymore.” – Laura Schlessinger

“Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.” – Thomas Hardy

Lately I’ve been having a hard time accepting change.  If life were a cup, doesn’t it seem like this past year the cup has been filled to the rim with alterations, practically overflowing with adjustments, and spilling over with variations or modifications to the point that even the saucer beneath life’s cup is pooled and dripping with transformations none of us have anticipated.  Nothing wrong with change, but when it comes in a deluge, it can take us by surprise.

It’s as if we were sitting in a booth at the diner together, chatting comfortably with our cups and saucers in hand as we sipped our “change” so to speak, and the waiter stopped by with a fresh, hot pot of it.  We held out our cups thinking he was going to top them off, because certainly “change” is inevitable – best consumed in short sips while it is hot and fresh, but instead of topping off our cups, he poured the whole hot pot of “change” right in our laps!

A little shocked, surprised, burned, and soaking wet with change?  Yes, my friend, without a doubt!  How about you?

How did we go from relative calm in our nation to increasing violence so quickly?  What happened that made us so leery of one another – causing us to question authority, categorize others based solely on skin color, and deny the rights of others to speak about something that is contrary to our own opinions?  Worse yet, how did it suddenly become ok to force their silence if they didn’t conform to our way of thinking?

What has caused our places of employment to become places we don’t want to be anymore?  Why is it no one wants to work any longer?  Why such a drastic change in such a short period of time? 

Why has education fast become more about politics and less about teaching the fundamentals to our children?  How did solid historical facts become a matter of opinion and interpretation suddenly?   How is it that people we revered, built statues of in honor of their accomplishments, are now hated and villainized? 

Why does a black life matter and a white life become irredeemable?  How is it that a great man like Martin Luther King Jr. who changed the world by non-violent protest, who said each of us should NOT be “judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character”, how is it that he has now become an Uncle Tom figure so quickly?  Why does coming to terms with racism require us to become more racist? Why is it all of a sudden so acceptable to loot businesses and burn cities in the name of reparations and inequity?  How did that become something we need to turn a blind eye to or be considered a bigot or a racist if we think it to be wrong or unjust?

How did 5% of the US population (LGBTQ+ community) so quickly become the moral authority to the remaining 95% – turning gender into a myriad of choices versus a scientific, biological reality?  How did pronouns become something so offensive all of a sudden?  How does a group who demands inclusion be so quick to exclude others who think differently than they do?  Isn’t that the gist of the problem in the first place?

How can all of this change happen so quickly in one short year?  I’m shocked and surprised to be honest, but should I really be so stunned?  Should any of us?

“But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God.” – 2 Timothy 3: 1-4  (Amplified Bible)

I am not predicting the end of times.  Anyone who says they can isn’t being truthful, but if you read the list above and compare it to all that is surfacing in the moment, without a doubt we are heading in that direction.  What’s more alarming is how FAST things are changing.

It’s funny how the quote from Thomas Hardy speaks to that element inside each of us that is always surprised by change, yet we know it to be inevitable.  In this case, if we are followers of Christ, we should by no means be taken back or caught off guard by the direction things are going.

This world as we know it won’t redeem itself.  We cannot be our own savior.  As imperfect humans, we seem destined to destroy just about everything we touch.

Government can’t make things right.  Politicians cannot bring about permanent, lasting, positive change.  Groups of people, no matter what their affiliation or creed, cannot save us from ourselves.  Companies, public schools, and other institutions (including religious ones) cannot stop the progression toward the decline and demise of this planet.  The Scriptures don’t tell us it “might” happen or “could” happen.  It paints a detailed picture of what WILL HAPPEN, and hasn’t it been quite accurate thus far?

Isn’t the meaning behind this entire journey here all about seeing the futility of man’s separation from God and our overwhelming need for Him?  So, it should be no surprise that particular revelation is heading in the wrong direction.  This world is moving further and further away from God, not toward Him.

Besides not being so surprised about all that’s transpiring and the speed at which it is all unfolding, what else can we do if this end is unavoidable?

We need to prepare my friend, not with indestructible bunkers, massive food storage, or buying up gold instead of holding on to currency.  We need to prepare our hearts – regardless of the end being near or still in the unforeseeable future.  You see, whether it be the end of the ages or the end of your individual life – it is the end none the less.

This isn’t some kind of altar call.  It is a plead to look within yourself and see all that is marching in unison toward what we know to be our eventual demise.  What parts of your heart are heading in lockstep with the direction of this world and all it represents?

For myself, it’s about releasing worry, anxiety, and fear.  It’s about ceasing to be surprised by it all anymore and knowing what is humanly inevitable – seeing this world in its true light and worth.  Personally, it’s about forgiving more, judging less, and seeking a deeper relationship with my Creator.  It’s about doing my best to align my thoughts and behaviors to His principles and priorities.  It’s about seeing myself for who I truly am – absolutely nothing without my God!  It means heading the opposite direction of this world – even if that means ridicule and rejection.  

It’s about knowing the end is coming, but having an indescribable peace in understanding that when it does, either through the earth’s destruction or my own death, it’s really just the beginning 😊

Together, let’s stop being so surprised by it all and let’s start preparing our hearts for the inevitable.  In doing so, we live a better life today and set the stage for an even better tomorrow.

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