January 1998 – If you would, I think it would be a good idea if you sit down and take a deep breath before I tell you the news. Sitting? Breathing? All right then. Here goes. And I quote the October 27, 1997, edition of USA Today.
“WASHINGTON – Our own Milky Way galaxy is on a collision course with another galaxy, but you won’t need to buy that insurance just yet.
“The fireworks aren’t due for more than five billion years – long after the sun has burned out and reduced Earth to a frigid cinder.”
O.K. We can deal with this. With some five billion years –give or take a few million – to plan ahead, we should be able to figure out something, don’t you think? But wait a minute. Didn’t the same story say that before this cosmic collision, as if that’s not enough to worry about, our own friendly sun will itself burn out? Yes, indeed. The article said that before this cosmic collision, which I hate to keep bringing up, our friendly and reliable Mr. Sunshine will himself burn out.
What I want to know is why these scientists and USA Today decided to release this news just before the holidays. Why couldn’t they at least wait until sometime in February when most Americans are already stuck inside their homes, good and depressed. But no, these people decided to ruin the holiday season for all of us.
Well, after giving this matter a little thought – perhaps five minutes at the most – I have come to this conclusion. I have no control over the galaxy. I have many skills and abilities. I graduated from Mississippi State University, packing a four year program into five years with – I might add – a solid C+ average. And I have a better than average grasp of the sports world. Still, I am sorry to report that I will not be able to do anything about this impending cosmic calamity. I’m sorry. I know you were expecting more from me, as was my momma, but this is the hard truth that we all have to deal with – some things are just beyond our control.
Speaking of control – a lot of our energy in life is given to this matter. And as we all know, control is like fire – it can be harnessed for great benefits or it can be destructive.
For instance, self-control, we are told in the Bible, is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling in a Christian. A common way to describe this kind of control is self-discipline.
Another dimension of control is seen in those people who feel compelled to dominate every circumstance. Many times these “control freaks” are unteachable and unwilling to listen to anyone’s ideas except their own. I don’t like to be around folks like that.
To me there are three levels of control in this life: 1) self-control, 2) circumstance control and 3) no control.
For the first one we are directly responsible to God. We are personally responsible for our thoughts, actions, deeds, motivations, etc.
At the second level we are still answerable to God, though not totally. Are there steps we could take – or could have taken – that would change a circumstance or a situation? Would it be pleasing to the Lord to do so? Of course, we must factor in other people’s actions, but at the same time remember that God has no grandchildren. In short, we are each individually responsible to God for at least our reaction to our circumstances.
At the third level we have absolutely no control – like this galatic collision thing.
I know people, and you know them too, who spend the better part of their lives worrying about matters over which they have absolutely no control. How frustrating and pointless! Deep down we all know that nothing positive can come from concerning ourselves with things over which we have no control.
This is why I love the ministry of American Family Association. We work to change those things which we can, and don’t worry about the rest.
For example, when we see an issue that needs addressing, we develop a plan of action and then seek to carry it out. This is why many of you support us. This is why many of you write letters, mail postcards, make phone calls and sometimes boycott companies. You are looking to us to do the homework, give you the information and then recommend a course of action to change the way things are.
Sure, there is a place for philosophical and intellectual discussion, but I believe at some point it must lead to action. What good does it do to talk about how bad things are if we are unwilling to do anything about it?
In the meantime, we don’t fret over the lack of results of our efforts or celebrate too loudly when we have a victory.
Currently we are asking those concerned about the advancement of the homosexual political and social agenda to boycott the Disney company. Why? Because, as we have documented, Disney is the largest and most influential company in America pushing the normalization of a behavior the Bible calls unnatural and immoral. If you want to join the effort see the back page of this Journal.
There are other steps to take in defense of biblical morality. Certainly the first and most important step is simply living lives that conform more and more to Christ. And that sometimes includes taking unpopular stands. But our efforts can be effective if we are organized and persistent.
To be sure, a few million stars hurtling across space in an organized fashion can cause some serious damage as well. Now why don’t you just take 60 seconds or so and think about that. Let it soak in. Then go fix yourself a bologna sandwich just the way you like it. You can control that.