While Waiting for the President

Several weeks ago, President Trump made a stop in Springfield, MO for a political rally. Since we live only 28 miles away, Kathy wanted to go see the President. She was able to get tickets and I said I would go with her.

The crowd was huge, and when we got in line the entrance was three blocks away. We had to stand for a little over four hours and were about the last people allowed in. The arena seated around 8,000 and that many more probably could not go in.
While waiting, we had a problem with crowd cutters. They wanted us to let them in so they would not need to stand so far back in line. I, and he men in front of me, and confronted these people on the unfairness of their behavior. We were able to hustle one man farther back in the line, but failed with the others.

Why am I writing about this? It is because everyone we challenged gave the same response. When we asked “Don’t you know cutting in line because you are late is unfair and makes it more difficult for those farther back in the line to move closer?,” the universal response was, “I don’t care!”
“I don’t care.” All I want is what I want, and I am not really concerned with anyone else. I was reminded of the response of Adam and Eve. They knew there would be consequences for their behavior, and they said, “We don’t care – we will risk it anyway.” It is the response of millions of people today.

“Don’t you know smoking can cause breathing problems, embolism, and cancer?” “I don’t care.”

“Don’t you know heroin is perhaps is a powerful, addictive drug that couldruin your life?” “I don’t care.”

“Don’t you know unprotected sex can result in venereal disease, HIV, or unwanted pregnancy?” “I don’t care.”

And on and on.

I think part of our problem is that we have lost sight of a sovereign, creator God. If there is a God, then I have a responsibility to relate somehow to that God. If there is no God, I have a responsibility only to myself. Like Frank Sinatra‘s song, “I did it my way.”

Sounds inviting perhaps, but there are elements in the universe over which we have no control – they are unconditioned. For example, we may choose when and how we die, but no one escapes dying; it is unconditioned. We might wish for a different DNA, but what we have is what we have. We might wish for different biological parents, but that is not going to happen. We might desire any number of things that are unconditioned and we have to live with them.

I suspect many who says, “I don’t care” about cutting in line would care very much if their personal space or personhood were violated. In Scott Peck’s book, “Makers of the Lie,” he states that whatever is not done in love is evil. By love, he means New Testament agape love – love that is not interested in reward for doing what is right. Jesus had a few things to say about evil in Matthew’s gospel: 7:11-17,9:4, 12:34, et al.

Just like the words translated “sin,” the word for evil has an ethical dimension of relationship between humans and humans, and between humans and God. One last thought: what things should we NOT care about? Let’s give pause and think before we say, “I don’t care!”

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