Today a lot of eyes are turned on tomorrow’s weather. Will the first World Series game in Philadelphia in 15 years be rained out? What will happen to schedules if the game is postponed? Can the forecast — near 100% chance of rain — be trusted?
Eyes are also turned to the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Will the “cratering” across Asia and Europe continue here? What does this mean for our mortgages, our credit, our retirements?
We are a people who are very skilled at reading the signs of the weather and the economy — well, at attempting to read these signs, just like the people of Jesus’ day were. Sadly, we really just distract ourselves with things that don’t matter? Who’ll remember a rain delay by next year (except for the commentators who will trot it out as another time-filling statistic)? Whether the Phillies win or lose, what will be different for us the day after the last game? Knowing stocks are likely to tank, what can we really do about it?
Jesus’ audience is good at reading the weather (though how they do this without a 24-hour weather channel is beyond me), but they’re missing what is really going on in their times. They are paying attention to the wrong things…or, more correctly, not enough attention to the right things. Jesus’ presence among them, teaching and healing, proves that he isn’t just another rabbi. Yet they don’t perceive that this is one of those moments when things don’t just change a little, they really *change!*
We may be in one of those times now…a time when we have to examine our fundamental assumptions about our economy, what the “good life” really is, what our dreams and aspirations can be. People are already looking at those assumptions, deciding which ones really apply any more. The question will be, are we looking at the economic and political weather, scratching the surface of our hopes and values, or will we look deeply at what God might be doing behind these events?
The good news is that we don’t need special knowledge or insight, or inside info or special tools, to discern what is happening around us. As the Message says, “You don’t have to be a genius to understand these things. Just use your common sense…”
More simply, “pay attention!” The real change in the season right now isn’t the election, the Dow, or even the Series. It’s what God is doing right now in and around you. Are you paying more attention to that than the events that are swirling around us?