Monday, April 22, 2013


I know bad crap is always going down in the world, but last week just about did me in.

First, the reminder that the gap since 2001 of terrorist bombings was probably a lull, the realization that now we may be dealing with CHECHEN terrorists (they were the ones who murdered many schoolkids in Beslan, among other things; it seems the radicalized groups in Chechnya are every bit as evil and perhaps even more ruthless than the Saudi terrorists).If this isn't just a one-off, but a first wave, it's going to get horrifically ugly, and we may see even more losses of civil rights in the name of stopping the terrorists.

And the fertilizer plant explosion near Waco. That's been less played up in the media of late because of the arrest of Suspect #2, but it was still a very big, very bad thing. There is film of utterly destroyed apartment complexes. And schools. And there is a nursing home where, although they apparently got everyone out safely, the residents have now had to have been moved to other facilities all over central Texas.

What gets me the most is that a lot of the fatalities were volunteer firefighters. I have students who are volunteer firefighters here. They go out and fight brushfires, which seem to be the main thing that happens around here. And while brushfires can be's not the same as having the factory you are running toward blow up.

And yet, as awful as that is, it was apparently a terrible accident. (Although there are rumors that malfeasance or poor management may have come into play)

But the idea that we may begin facing what Israel is facing and has faced on a regular basis - I don't know if our culture can handle it. (I don't know if I can handle it).

I just feel like the world is going to Hell, fast, and nothing's going to stop it. There are other bits of crappification going on - my piano teacher is having to retire from teaching and take a different job because of changes in the tax laws and the increase in her taxes. So now I get to try to find someone new who is willing to work with a fairly-green 40-something student. And the crappification of college education continues, the push to make us all Universities of Phoenix with all its attendant issues and problems. The congregation I belong to continues to shrink and I am so not emotionally prepared for church-hunting. And it seems like this is all happening at once.

The ironic thing is, I guess what I said at the table on Sunday helped a lot of people - in the prayer I referenced the tragedies but spoke about how when we go out and try to make things better, whether it's by donating blood or by opening our pastures to displaced livestock (as some folks near Waco did for the people in West) or comforting the sorrowing, that we serve God by doing that.

And I want to believe that.

And on some level I do.

It's just, there's so much bad crap in the world that the BEST I can do is like a fragment of a pebble thrown into the ocean. And while I'd never give up and go over to the dark side, neither can I any longer believe that any good undoes bad. Bad looks like it's winning, and maybe it WILL win, at least for now. And I don't want to keep on keepin' on in a world where bad is winning. I don't want to have to wait for the afterlife for things to seem right again, but maybe that's just how it is.

I don't know. It's really hard for me to work up enthusiasm for what I'm teaching when it feels like the world is going to hell.

1 comment:

Dave E. said...

There's a quote from "The Stand" that I think of often when I fear that evil is winning in the world: "The effective half-life of evil is always relatively short." Not exactly a heavyweight source, but I think it's true.

The thing is, history shows that evil systems eventually all collapse from self-inflicted wounds and/or the weight of their inherent corruption. The same fate awaits the evil we see today, though it may not be so obvious to us now. We just have to fight the good fight.

And if I really need to buck up, there's always Psalm 23.