Handwriting on Today's Walls
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Like you I read a lot about the current financial mess. Experts are all over the place in describing what should be done and whether Treasury Secretary Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke are doing the right thing. With the experts divided it is s sign we are in uncharted water. They are making it up as they go.
This article by economist Kenneth Cone on Real Clear Politics web site this morning is a well reasoned, thoughtful and informative essay on where we are and dangers we face. It gives a balanced comparison between what is happening today and what happened during the Great Depression. It is worth the read.
But let me cut to the conclusion he makes that is vital for you to understand. Cone knows we are a different people today. His conclusion call to question whether we have the moral character to endure the size of the changes upon us.
Have you noticed lately that people who sound confident about the economy are mostly talking head pundits with no practical experience and no responsibility? And that the people who know what they’re talking about, like Bernanke, Volcker, Geithner, Summers and Buffett, take a more cautious line – the situation is serious but things will be fine if we do what we need to do?
These folks face a delicate problem. They have to talk enough truth to justify spending trillions of dollars to stop this crisis, without saying things which might scare consumers and businesses into total paralysis.
When our country faces a serious crisis, Americans usually pull together. That’s not happening this time – instead we’re bickering, finger pointing and maneuvering for political advantage. I don’t question anyone’s patriotism, I just think that most Americans don’t appreciate the danger.
He says, “most American don’t appreciate the danger”. I think that’s true. Look around. It is a time of a “false crisis” for some. Some retailers are having no recession. Restaurants are full in my neighborhood. Most are going about their business as usual. Sure we have lost a third of our wealth in the past year, we think, but it will turn around–we hope.
NCAA basketball is front and center for many this weekend as the second round tournaments whittle the field down to the final four. Those teams will be playing next weekend while the Group of 20 leaders meet in London to being shaping a new world financial order. Which event do you think will draw the most popular attention?
We are in the midst of world changing events and we are sleep walking.
Our politicians are blaming financiers while they help themselves to worthless public projects in these spending bills. The debt we are taking on is mortgaging our future. We are printing money with one hand and spending it with the other and hoping that China and the Arab oil states continue to buy our future promises to repay.
Unions blame management and management blames consumers. Main street blames Wall Street. Wall Street blames Congress. The world blames America. And no one takes responsibility. No one is held accountable. No one is willing to sacrifice and give up entitlements for the common good.
I hear the conservative pundits defend the free market and deride the socialist trends of the new administration. I understand both the arguments. But they miss the larger point of the times and what is happening to us as a people. All partisan arguments miss the critical spiritual dimension of our times. They fail to see the spiritual handwriting on the walls of our modern times. The world is turning and when it stops it will be a different scene in front of us.
Christ told His generation they could not discern the signs of their times. “Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?” (Luke 12:56). If we could see what lies beyond today’s horizon we would be stunned. For some it would move us to an awareness of that God guides history and is moving in today’s events to bring us closer to a day of judgment on the nations. It would challenge our inner security and move us to reliance on Christ and the Father to see us safely through.
But we will never catch this vision in all its beauty and teror until we can stop looking at the physical dimensions and looking for someone else to blame. It is time to look to God for the answers and stop relying on our wisdom.