Friday, April 10, 2020

Anonymous witness

This got shared with me today:
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To anyone who cares to listen:

You lived in a world that, you were told, was prosperous, full of advanced technology, and progressing steadily forward to an ever-brighter future. You were told that science would lead you to the truth, that man's technology would solve all problems, that your government would care for you, protect you, and provide for you. Yet, in a few weeks, that world has disappeared, replaced by one in which humans are afraid to come into contact with each other, where that prosperous economy has almost instantly stopped providing sufficient means for its participants to provide for themselves, where parents struggle with the strange new burden of caring for their own children without a state-sponsored surrogate. That same state continually spouts reassurances that this will all be over soon, and we'll be on our way to a bright recovery, while at the same time ever extending their forecast of the current panic. Thousands sit idle while their governments promise handouts, promise medical care, promise resources for child care -- while even during decades of prosperity and unparalleled technological advancement those very governments have proven themselves unable to live within their available budgets, unable to provide reliable medical care to their "heroes" and murdering those whom they claim to treasure most, and unable to care for children in a way that prepares those children to live responsibly in society.

Can you not now see that you've been acting on false information? Can you not see that the usual sources of information are patently unreliable? How could it make any logical sense to trust these would-be protectors now, when the system we've built under their guidance has proven itself so obviously unstable? How many times do you need to walk home from another break-down before you stop driving the same unreliable car? How many times do you have to yell at your children in an unsuccessful attempt to get them to behave, before you realize yelling isn't working? How many times do you need to burn your hand in the fire before you realize you shouldn't put it there? How many times do you need to fail before taking action to find a better way?

And yet you maintain your trust in these state-sponsored liars. Even while you fashionably criticize them for their obvious tradition of spewing false information, you quote their latest statistics in the same breath. You discuss their latest advice, and follow their latest edicts while snitching on your neighbors who don't act as you do.

Some of you have trusted your churches. How many of them showed you how to weather this difficulty? How many of them taught you to live within your means, to avoid debt, to teach your children at home? Or did they instead tell you to give them your money even if you didn't have enough to feed your family, and to burden yourself and your children with activities and programs within the church, ever increasing your dependence on their organization while preventing you from learning how to operate within your family? How many of them offer the same reassurance that they'll care for you and provide for you in times of need, when even in decades of plenty they've let their own people starve?

How many times have your prophets, priests, and kings been caught in lies, and you still listen to them? Can you not now believe there may be a better way?

What if there actually were a God? What if that God actually loved you, and wanted to see you through this storm, and any other storm, in peace? Your state has told you, "You don't need to take care of yourself, or protect yourself. Our sciences and our power will be enough for you!" What if that was a lie? your church has told you, "You don't need to learn to approach God yourself; we'll do all that for you!" What if was also a lie? Those churches have accused you, saying, "God can do whatever he wants. If you're suffering, it must be your fault. You must be doing something wrong." What if that accusation were a lie?

Those sources will also tell you that my one voice can be disregarded. "That guy's crazy," they'll say, or perhaps you'll say it for them because they've taught you so well to disregard inconvenient evidence. "He's just one guy. Ignore him," they'll way. Perhaps this crisis hasn't yet persuaded you to reconsider that advice. Nonetheless, I offer my own voice, small and anonymous, that whatever has shifted in your world, God remains steady. His offer does not guarantee the particular variety peace and comfort your world has taught you to covet. The world's definitions of peace and comfort are, themselves, still more lies. The peace God offers is steady and unwavering, even when all hell breaks out in the world.

God is no genie, who offers you wishes and safety in the blink of an eye. He offers you wisdom, and understanding of the natural laws of the universe within which he operates, that you may take the proper actions so that the consequences which flow naturally from them will bring you your righteous desires. God cannot magically bring peace to a world whose inhabitants will not behave peaceably. God cannot magically bring wisdom to a world whose people refuse it. God will not allow his children to fight each other and hurt each other any longer than is absolutely necessary to teach them obedience, and to give them every possible opportunity to learn.

Seek him, in person, and he will inspire you, and teach you, and come to you. Quit ignoring the evidence he offers of his love and care. Quit dismissing his influence. Quit responding to the lies of the world around you. Seek truth; you will know it when you find it because it will bring you reliable results.

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