Anybody remember 2012?
I know, it seems so three years ago, but at one time 2012 was all the rage because the world was supposed to end sometime that year — whether it was the sun blowing up or the Mayan calendar running out of space — and lots of people made movies and books and predictions and money talking about 2012.
Because we live in a culture that operates in 15-minute segments, few of us pause from checking Facebook to stop and think about things 30 minutes in the past, or more — but it’s a good thing to get into a habit of doing.
When we do — start thinking, asking questions, being awake — we begin to realize how many things we are told throughout the day — on the news, in our classrooms, at the workplace, in the church — that we accept as truth, largely because they are stated with confidence, assertiveness, and an expectance that we will acquiesce.
But go back a year or two and review the predictions of the analysts, the assertions of the news commentators, the prophetic utterances of religious speakers who purport to speak for God — were they right?
The answer is, probably not, in which case, the next questions is, why do we continue to pay attention to these people?
“Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?” God asks Job in 39:1.
“Do you count the months till they bear? Do you know the time they give birth?”
As an owner of goats, I do count the months from the time we breed our does until their expected due date, and while I can be approximately right — within a week or so, and this only if I witnessed the actual breeding moment, which my kids always consider disgusting — I do not know the exact hour, or even day, when they will give birth.
Nor how many kids they bear. Nor the gender of the kids.
And while there are a whole lot of things I do not know in this one matter — which seems small and insignificant in comparison to the big picture of life and history and the cosmos as a whole — God not only knows it, He knows about the rest of life and history, the cosmos as a whole, your life and mine, and the true ramifications of what the talking heads and torsos prattle on and on about in the evening news.
He is never wrong.
We consistently are.
And in that latter truth there is an odd comfort — that we are wrong but He never is — because it takes the pressure off of our having to put all the pieces together, perfectly and consistently, or else the whole world — or at least the part of it that matters to us — will fall apart.
We can discuss, we can analyze, we can predict, we can draw what we think to be logical conclusions from the facts we are given, but ultimately, no human being can tie all those facts together in a handkerchief and say,
“Here. This is what will happen.”
And that’s okay, because as long as we trust in the one and only person who knows the future and can walk us through it — and not the voices of men who aver that they are the experts to whom we should listen — we’ll be on the right path.