A better world begins with . . . ?
"In the morning I will sing glad songs of praise to you" - Psalm 63
That dang apple! If it hadn't been there, look where we'd be—somewhere over beautiful rainbows enjoying the blissfully perfect climate of a wondrously peaceful earth.
But it was there, in the Garden of Eden. And in one form or another, that apple has never gone away.
Over the centuries, the apple has taken on different identities, of course. For King David it was a naked woman taking a bath. For Judas, 30 pieces of silver. For U.S. Southerners, the benefits of slavery. On and on until today, when, for you and me, the forbidden fruit has multiple seductions, ranging from the pure greed implanted in our hearts to the wild tattoos painted on our most visible exposures.
For many though, the 21st century apple is most identifiable in its chief provocateur, Donald J. Trump. It's all his fault. Were he not around, at the very least, many among us tend to think, we'd not be mortifying one another on the "killing fields" of our malls and entertainment arenas; instead, we'd be praying and studying together like good Christians and good Muslims do.
True, we understand, friends and foes alike, why Trump looms large as our modern "snake" in the grass. But he's just one of many, the one most seen and heard, the acknowledgment of which has only magnified the agony of our collective misery.
Amid the harsh realities of 2019, there are more snakes that René Descartes could ever have counted.
Thus, for a moment, to clarify, I invite you to join me in reversing our view: Suppose our president had been there, in the original "Garden"?
We'd not be here today, would we? Cain would never have survived his murder of Abel, chaos would have erupted almost instantly and human-beings would have killed each other off with AK-7's within milli-seconds of the first dirty deal (use your imaginations).
But Trump was neither east nor west, north nor south in the first "Eden." The world survived. Has since. And when the 22nd century arrives, its dawning will have established the factness of history's continuation.
So, the question remains, how to get there? to a reasonably peaceful 2100?
Individually, we tend to think across the board that we can't do a whole lot about our trashy 2019.
Not true. We can. We can vote. We can each be a reasonable person who holds reasonable values and tries mightily to live up to them.
Nathan was right to confront David and speak boldly to him: "Thou art the man!"
I am the man. You are the man, or the woman. Each of us is responsible. And for us Christians, according to our Master, we are not asked to "pass by on the other side." We're asked to stop and help.
Yes, making this a better world a better place begins with me! And nowhere else.