On July 9, 2015 commuters on their way home from Toronto caught a terrifying sight. It reminded many of terrorist attacks and engineering disasters. They looked skyward and saw their beloved and iconic CN Tower, once the tallest free-standing structure in the world (at 1,815 feet) IN FLAMES!
“Oh, no! Not another terrorist attack…! Not in Toronto! Who would want to pick a fight with Canada?” What else should a person think? Bright orange flames and smoke were billowing from its observation deck at the 1,500-foot level. What else but a terrorist attack could account for that?
Yet, as scary as it seemed to viewers, there was absolutely nothing wrong, nor was there any cause for alarm. City officials explained to worried residents and workers that this was simply a dress rehearsal for the opening ceremony of the 2015 Pan American Games, which Toronto was hosting from July 10-26. The Pan Am organizers had made numerous public announcements about the pyrotechnic display. Unfortunately, many never received them and their fear turned to anger over the false alarm.[i]
What’s happening to us as a people, as the human race? It seems we all swing from moods of anxiety and profound terror to irritation and rage. The steady diet of bad news which we consume through the media is certainly a contributing factor. If we watch TV, listen to the radio, or search the internet we expose ourselves to concentrated doses of life’s darkest side. It’s eventually going to catch up with us and show symptoms in our thinking and behavior.
If we fill our minds with nothing but the injustices, bigotry, racism, terrorism, perversions, and the hatred of our world, will it not adversely affect our mental and emotional health? Especially when we ignore the multiplied millions of kind, loving, and selfless deeds that people perform every day? Especially, when we only credit God with tornadoes and earthquakes, and fail to acknowledge all of life’s blessings as “acts of God” as well?
The world can certainly be a scary place and maybe some of our fears are well-founded. Yet, no matter how bad or dangerous this life may be, our faith in God’s love and faithfulness is far more rational.
In the vast and terrible desert of space, God created this beautiful oasis called Earth for us to live in. He filled it with beauty and all the things necessary to feed us, clothe us, and make us happy. Every day He surrounds us with many more blessings in an effort to reveal to us His love and His desire to know us personally. Yet, we dismiss His existence, ignore His blessings, and choose rather to focus on whatever evil we can find.
It’s no wonder we’re so miserable. It’s no wonder we see terrorist attacks behind celebrations, are cynical of people’s kindness, and expect the worst from life.
There’s a far better way. Consider this prescription from the Psalms: “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him” (Psalm 34:4-8).
Dear heavenly Father, into Your loving and capable hands I place my troubled life. Please calm the storm that rages within me, and heal my inner wounds that only seem to fester. Please forgive all my sins and embrace me with Your love. Amen.
[i] (Information from http://news.sky.com/story/1516643/torontos-iconic-cn-tower-engulfed-in-smoke)