Summary: As a nation we are being blindsided by things that destroy us. Yet if we were to look more carefully and see Jesus at work in all things, we would learn to be wholistic, we would identify with the needy, and we would deal with both the physical and the s
Have you ever been blindsided? Something happened, but
you never even saw it coming?
The snow, for instance. After several mild winters, did you
think we would be hit by repeated snowstorms? Did you see
that coming? I didn’t. I laid out seven super Sundays of
sermons on the churches of Revelation. But you only got
six! I didn’t see coming a snowstorm that would force us to
Has something ever happened, and you never saw it
coming? Sometimes, it’s just a mild disruption. I went to the
dentist the other day, and was riding down the elevator
looking at the card they gave me about the next
appointment. I walked out of the elevator and right into
someone coming around the door. Just a mild bump and a
mumbled, “Excuse me”. But I never saw that coming.
Sometimes it’s more than a mild disruption. Sometimes it is
a catastrophe when you don’t see something coming.
Several of you have been in auto accidents lately. Nobody
badly hurt, but it is a financial catastrophe when your car is
damaged beyond driving. And just about every time you’ve
told me about these accidents, you’ve said, “This guy came
out of nowhere. The idiot, I never saw that coming!” (I will
not mention, of course, that the idiot has also told HIS pastor
about the moron that HE never saw coming!). Disaster
strikes; we never saw it coming.
But then there is something even deeper. When we don’t
see something coming, it can be more than a mild disruption,
and more than a catastrophe. It can be long, slow decline. It
can be deterioration and decay over weeks and months.
That may be the most dangerous thing not to see. A long,
slow deterioration. A few weeks ago I went into my study,
and noticed that part of the carpet was wet. I didn’t pay much
attention. I thought maybe I had spilled something. But I
went back to the same area the next day and found it even
more damp. I discovered that a valve had been leaking
behind the paneling and behind some bookshelves. As I
began to investigate, I found that I not only had damp carpet,
but also warped paneling, loose floor tiles, mildew on the
bookshelves, and, worst of all, some of my books were
soggy. Now you know me. Take my wallet if you wish.
Abduct one of my children if you must. But leave my books
alone! My precious books had been deteriorating from water
damage a long time, and I never even saw that coming!
But I could have! Had I looked more carefully, I could have
seen that coming. If we had read the Farmer’s Almanac,
which correctly predicted the snowstorm, we could have
seen that coming. If I had put the dental appointment card in
my pocket, I would have seen that lady approaching the
elevator door. If you who have had accidents had been
focused on your driving and not your cell phones or your CD
players, you might have seen the accident coming. And if I
had done some housekeeping, I would have seen the water
damage before it ruined my books. We could have seen
things coming, had we really been attentive. I never saw that
coming – but I could have.
America is being blindsided. As a nation, things are