N.Americans are especially bad at this one. Bad stuff is always happening “out there” somewhere to “other people,” and any notion of it coming anywhere close to me and where I live is to be met with fear and avoidance at all costs.
Our obsession with security penetrates to many levels. RRSPs, while not necessarily evil, are a symptom of this disease. We hope to purchase our security by storing up treasures during our more certain years. I even saw a bank ad that read “earn peace of mind” when advertising RRSPs, and this is entirely what they’re selling.
Oh, and don’t get me started on suburbs, gated communities, and white flight. Click the link; be disgusted.
And then we can hardly avoid 9-11’s ugly visage. A nation that hadn’t experienced attack on its own soil in generations was suddenly shocked to learn that people hated them enough to do something truly horrific. And suddenly Bush’s entire administration had the perfect ploy to ensure their power to get things done and be reelected: tell the people that whatever you’re doing—at home and abroad—is about improving security. And the gibbering masses who already live their lives primarily in illusion smile and nod as their country commits war crimes against Iraq, revokes citizen freedoms in the so-called Patriot Act, and all the while conflate this mess with vague notions of God being “on our side.”
Yet this is the jealous God who says “no other God before me.” He does not want us to worship our own sense of security. He offers us Himself, and in Him we find a security unlike anything we can conceive of. God’s security must often be counter-intuitive if Jesus the God-man died as a wrongfully convicted criminal. Oh, and a side note: Jesus was killed by political leaders who thought that they were acting in the best interests of the security of the Judean people. He was a trouble-maker, and Rome might crush them at any minute…
Jesus says to his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27) The peace that Jesus gives us is not a lack of things to give us anxiety about our security. Rather, “he himself is our peace.” (Eph 2:14) We clamor after security. Jesus offers us Himself.
Lord, have mercy upon us, for we are are slow to listen and slow to learn.