Friday, 17 August 2018
ABOUT this time last year, I wrote a piece for Thought for the Week in which I quoted the Chinese curse about “interesting times”.
Since then the times have become more “interesting” and we have added terrorist attacks and a major fire.
Many earlier generations would have seen these events as a punishment and would have sought of ways to appease the gods by making sacrifices and perhaps releasing a goat into the wilderness to carry our sins away — “a scapegoat”.
Gradually we began to accept that our problems were of our own making and this is well expressed in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar when he wrote: “The fault lies not in the stars but in ourselves.”
So what are our faults that bring these events into our lives?
Our first reaction is to blame someone, make them “a scapegoat” and cast them out into the wilderness without much thought.
Later we may set up an inquiry which will come up with useful observations that may be acted upon depending on the cost. Why is cost so important? Obviously we cannot spend what we have not got but really the question is where are our priorities?
Terrorist acts are designed to create fear, panic and to disrupt our way of life. Ideally to cause us to seek acts of revenge which can be used to excuse further terrorist attacks which could in time develop into a war.
Resistance to terrorism is best made by preventative measures which is being done but keeping in mind Christ's commandment to love our enemies.
Likewise when spending money, first priorities must be health and safety and not our material standard of living.
Consider the parable of the rich farmer who, having had a very good harvest, planned to live in comfort without realising his end was near when wealth would count for nothing.
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