From Connections: Keep your balance in uncertain times

By Darlene Warren

BIG SANDY, Texas--The anticipation continues to mount as we approach the beginning of a brand-new millennium (which is actually a little more than a year away). It's interesting to observe the different ways people envision the future.

Some look at the frontiers mankind has yet to discover with great optimism and enthusiasm. What can man accomplish? How far can science take us? Our daily routines are eased tremendously compared to our forefathers' by the invention of so many time-saving and labor-saving devices.

The next 1,000 years

It is easy to forget that at the beginning of this century ancestors of mine were alive who had fought in the Civil War. The advances in science make that era seem so distant. We've been to the moon, we've all but eradicated smallpox and polio and lessened the deadly effects of other childhood diseases. We've extended the average life expectancy in the Western world considerably. What effect will the discoveries of the next millennium have on us personally?

How far can man go in his quest to find the answers that continue to elude us?

How many times have you seen the precious little bald heads of children receiving chemotherapy in their fight against cancer? I often wonder how much time do they have? Will God heal this one, or will God leave her in the hands of modern medicine?

There are countless cases of each which have had a positive ending. If I had a little child with such a problem, I know I would want access to the latest research and medical procedures available. I would want her to be treated by the most knowledgeable doctor I could find. Is there anything wrong with hoping we find a way to cure cancer in the future? Of course not.

I'm sure Christopher Reeve is yearning for the new millennium and all that it could mean for him and tens of thousands in his condition. Most of us can't imagine what it's like to lose your independence to a caregiver. To depend on another to bathe you, dress you, move your body for you. Those people are just like you and me. The only difference is their arms and legs don't work. Can we find a way to regenerate the nerves of the human spinal cord?

Until a greater Force takes things into His own hands, we have to rely on what modern medicine can do. That's not a lack of faith; that's doing what you can with what you have.

On the brink

While some people look for the good that may come from the new millennium, the realization is that mankind is on the brink of annihilation. Never before in history has man had the technology to destroy himself so many times over. We battle diseases that were never even heard of at the turn of this century (some we hadn't heard of 25 years ago).

Social ills continue to escalate, along with school violence, broken homes, drug abuse, and the list goes on and on. Because of these developments there's a certain stratum of society that has given up on this world. These people are running hell-bent for their underground bunkers to escape the horrors to come. They see little value in helping to make this world a better place because, after all, God is going to destroy it anyway.

Something about moving into a new millennium seems to have jump-started people in one direction or another. We find ourselves set in one of two camps. Those who look to the future with renewed hope in mankind and those paralyzed by fear of mankind. Could it be they are both exhibiting emotions born out of desperation? Is there a way to find a balance between the two?

Opening our eyes to the fact that we are all in the same boat might be of some comfort. Then again, maybe not. If you believe God put us on earth for a purpose and that it is our job to discover what that purpose is, then it would be hard to conceive that turning inward could be the right choice to make.

On the other hand, if you believe God has a plan for mankind that will unfold regardless of what we do, you could make the argument that "it's all over but the crying."

More of the same

We probably agree that the new millennium will not be the one we in the Churches of God are waiting for. Who knows what's in store for us?

Probably more of the same. There will be good times, but, if prophecy proves correct, we will have an increasing amount of hatred and violence to contend with. There will come a time when we won't have to worry about our children developing some hideous disease.

We won't have to watch our loved ones slowly deteriorate before our eyes and be helpless to do anything about it. Young children will grow up happy and healthy.

Until then, we can never give up the fight for a better world. There's nothing many of us can do about life on the world scene, but we can do something about our little corner of the world. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Give hope where you can, and comfort when it's needed.

While we're waiting for a better tomorrow, let's not forget to live in the present and help those less fortunate than ourselves who may not have a tomorrow.

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