It’s not about Y2K: An old virus revisited
Editor’s Note: This article was written by Paul on December 11, 1998. In light of recent events, Paul thought it might be a timely message once again. The article first appeared on USA Journal Online.
The young minister dreaded the duty before him. He walked into the crowded room only to find himself surrounded by the cold intimidation of prominence, pride and pomposity, some repeatedly glancing at their watches, others jotting down memos and a few even raising an eyebrow at him, as if to say, “Lets hurry up and get this over with….I’ve got important things to do.”
He was a simple man, hardly a prophet. Yet, God had given him the terrible task of reaching into the snake pit of humanism with a trembling hand to call out the repentant with a bittersweet message of tragedy and hope in the brief and fleeting moments that some were already calling “The End Times”. He knew there would be Hell to pay without diligent preparation and though all around him life seemed pleasant and peaceful, it was clear that behind the closed doors of our technological wonderworld, the wages of sin were well overdue. Blackouts and failures from the ever-increasing stress and fatigue of weakening systems were already common in busy and heavily populated areas where the needs were greatest, while isolated incidents of sporadic hemorrhaging across the infrastructure of humanity were beginning to test the limits of civility.
It seems a virus had been introduced a long time ago into the operating system of this marvelous creation of man as a prudent alternative to proper procedure. The lust to amass great knowledge and power exceeded the vision and wisdom necessary to sustain it. Consequently, what was once considered taboo became quite useful, even desirable for those with an insatiable appetite and little or no discipline or discernment. It wasn’t long till the virus and it’s forbidden fruit became universally accepted and exploited with great imagination and risky experimentation in the interests of progress, pride, pleasure and prosperity, becoming mankind’s new “Tower of Babel”; a virtual shortcut to greatness for an “enlightened” generation of nearsighted fools. Born in the promising laboratory of human endeavor, intimately integrated within the very fiber of modern man, this little virus became a working part of almost everything produced. It had even been given a name…..a little three letter word that was eventually rendered unsuitable for intelligent discussion among liberal thinkers, yet had ironically become the unofficial symbol of the world’s woes.
He already knew what some were going to think as soon as he brought it up. “Here he goes again with the doom and gloom. It’s not the end of the world, ya know. We’re making progress here. This is America, for crying out loud! You’re starting to sound like one of those crazed extremists. Besides, SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE is BOUND to have a solution. There just needs to be more tolerance…that’s all.”
Who would ever have guessed that something so small would end up so big? Still, every morning this awkward and unlikely messenger awoke to the startling reality that God had chosen him, of all people, to stand up against a raging herd of pencil pushers, power brokers, poll watchers, pleasure seekers and professional skeptics, to announce the impending collapse of “The Great Society”, and the chaotic consequences that were forthcoming as a result of Man’s misplaced faith. Knowing that salvation was for believers only and that denial of the problem meant certain destruction, he kept a little proverb in his heart to pass along as God’s word to the wise. “A prudent man forseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” (Proverbs 22:3)
You see, it wasn’t the good news that made this so difficult to discuss. Actually, he looked forward to that part of the message. But the good news was meaningless until the bad news had effectively been delivered, received and believed. There was something terribly wrong in the world and unless they came to grips with it, the good news would be irrelevant and incite nothing but a hearty round of indifference from one and all. Someone had to bring up that nasty little word again and again and again, until those with a heart of understanding could hear the call and prepare themselves for the challenges ahead.
He was not a man of stature or influence in his community, but he knew that persistence in this matter might cost him more than his reputation. There were no degrees, awards or certificates of achievement adorning the walls of his little office. No one ever came knocking at his door for insights or opinions on prophesy or current events. All he had to his credit was the terrible burden that God had placed on his meager shoulders and the burning bush in his heart to persuade a stubborn and distracted people.
You see, it’s not about Y2K. It’s about SIN and the blindness of those who foolishly accept it as a harmless or manageable virus in their everyday lives. It’s about an epidemic of confidence in humanity’s greatness to overcome adversity without the power and wisdom of God. It’s about leaning on one’s own understanding, as if to say, “Don’t worry…..Be happy. We’ve got it all under control here.”
No, it’s not about Y2K. It’s about sin….but, isn’t it eerie how much those two little words have in common these days? Could it be that God is sending us yet another subtle message?
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind…” (Romans 1:28)