Like most people, I’ve been thinking a lot about our country’s economic woes, especially as prospects of some sort of turnaround seem slim to none.
I can relate to so many who have fears about their financial futures, and although I don’t fully understand debt ceilings, interest rates, and stock markets, I know that we’re not exactly living in a tip-top economic climate.
Perilous news about the economy reminds me of a talk that Richard Rohr gave once, and it was on the topic of the inevitable valleys that come throughout life, even in systems. I recall he said something to the effect that it’s an illusion to believe that our economy in the US will constantly be growing. The universe just doesn’t work that way, Rohr remarked.
In other words, the universe is full of rising and falling, living and dying. It’s unrealistic to believe that vast wealth and plentiful crops last forever.
I’m not trying to say that what’s happened to our economy was fated and there’s nothing we could have done to stem the tide – I’m simply describing the reality of the world we live in.
Nothing lasts forever.
Kingdoms rise and fall. Superpowers emerge and are overthrown.
The Yankees don’t win the World Series every year (thank you, Lord!).
For those of us who are used to living in prosperous countries during fruitful seasons, this is perhaps one of the hardest truths to swallow.
As a young person, I don’t want to accept the fact that I am getting older and will die one day.
As an American, I don’t want to accept the fact that we will not always be the richest, strongest nation in the world.
As a perfectionist and control freak, I don’t want to accept that – gasp – I am imperfect and not in control.
Perhaps this is why God calls us to die daily, so that we can somehow be pushed down to the earth again, acknowledging that there is a Creator who is all-powerful and the only one worthy of our trust.
Somehow famines are used in his extraordinary wisdom to refine us into people who are ever-humble, generous rather than greedy, and deeply grateful rather than fearful.
And maybe then we’ll be able to turn our eyes to the only One who lasts forever, and we’ll realize there’s nothing and no one more firm and sure than He.