I heard from my prospective renter a few minutes back. He decided he’d fit better in an apartment of his own.
Maybe God’s telling me that’s where I belong too.
Gave a lecture to the Northfield, Minnesota Sons of Norway lodge last night. It was a special Twenty-fifth Anniversary meeting, held in a banquet room at St. Olaf College (which was fitting, since I was lecturing on the original St. Olaf, among other people).
It was one of my better lecturing experiences. Excellent meal, receptive audience, and I sold a lot of books.
And yet, my heart is bowed down.
I wrote the following years ago, in my novel Wolf Time. The speaker is a television news reporter:
“Look, don’t get me wrong. I’m sorry we have to bury America—it has its good points. But we’re talking survival now. This is the nuclear age, the killer virus age, the age of terrorism. As long as we can defend ourselves there’s no chance for survival…. I want to live, and I want my children to live, if I ever decide to have any. In a world like this we can’t afford honor. My honor, if you want to call it that, is to persuade people, any way I can, that nothing—nothing in the world—is worth dying for. And I think people are getting the message. You know why we’ve only fought little wars since Vietnam? Because Americans don’t have any stomach for long-term sacrifice anymore. I like to think we [the news media] had something to do with that. It’s an incredible power we have.”
I hate being right. I had the hope, when I wrote that scene in a novel set in the near future, that the Universe (not Providence. They’re two different things) would step in, as it usually does, to prove my prediction false. Unfortunately the Universe backed me up this time.
I’ve heard all the arguments that nothing big will happen in the wake of the power shift in Washington, because of gridlock, etc.
I don’t buy it. I keep hearing smart people on the radio saying the election was mostly about the war. And it doesn’t matter that a lot of people who voted to throw the bums out were angry that the war wasn’t being prosecuted aggressively enough.
The message sent by this election was, “America has given up. We’re pulling out. We’ll do what we can to save face as we leave, but you’ve beaten us.”
I think we’ve turned a critical corner, pulled the pin on the grenade. The message of Vietnam has been confirmed—fight the Americans long enough and you’ll wear them down. They’re soft. They won’t make sacrifices.
I have a vision of the future. I hope I’m wrong this time.
I see embattled people all around the world, Christians and non-Christians, fighting against the pressure of Islam. They’ll know that there’s no help to be expected from America, and far less from the United Nations. In other words, there won’t be any polite, Geneva Convention answer to their problem.
They will do what they need to do to survive.
It will be very, very ugly. There will be acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing. There will be terrible battles and massacres and atrocities. On both sides.
I don’t think it will happen in America. At least not soon. But it will happen elsewhere, and it won’t be long now.
And it will be our fault. Because we had the chance to stop jihadism in Iraq, and we couldn’t finish the job.
But I see something else. It came to my mind as I sat in church on Sunday.
Our guest preacher was a missionary from Mexico. He spoke, among other things, of signs and wonders.
I need to explain here that we’re not a charismatic group. We mistrust faith healers, and positively oppose tongue-speaking.
But this pastor spoke of miraculous healings in answer to prayer, on the mission field. He spoke of a man raised from the dead. He spoke of exorcisms. He named names, names of several people who are known to us from mission trips, or as students at the Bible School.
He talked of all this matter-of-factly, as things just to be expected when God is working.
And that reminded me that the Kingdom of God is bigger than my fears. God is at work today, and what He’s planning to do is probably something that hasn’t occurred to me. His instruments will come from places where I’m not looking.
So be comforted.
But not too comforted.