At the conclusion of this last political election (ending with my beloved country being more divided than ever) a friend wrote me a letter sharing her fears and concerns for the future. She ended it with this sentence: “We live in troubling times.” I couldn’t help but agree with her, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that these current times aren’t the only troubling times that mankind has lived through.
Ancient times were troubling times when crops could fail and half of all children died before the age of five. The first Christians lived in troubling times where they were persecuted, tortured, and even killed for their beliefs.
The fall of the Roman empire and the coming of the dark ages were troubling times.
The Bubonic plague killed half of Europe and the rest struggled with starvation and petty wars.
The hundred years war, the crusades, the American and French revolutions, the Napoleonic and American Civil wars were all troubling times where hundreds of thousands died.
In World War I and World War II those thousands became millions. With the end of them the Cold war with its threat of nuclear destruction made for more troubling times. Then came the troubling times of terrorism and the fear they bring.
In addition to these were the troubling times that included the struggles of slavery, segregation, prejudice, poverty, greed, the Great Depression, the Great Recession, the struggle for equal rights, the loss of jobs and security, population explosions, natural disasters, the threat of starvation, the risk of epidemics, and even the fate of our planet being at risk.
It is clear then that we do live in troubling times and that we always have lived in troubling times. The question is how are we going to LIVE in them. Are we going to feed them with our fear or lessen them with our love? Are we going to grow apart in hatred or come together in kindness? Are we going to continue to go from war to war or are we finally going to bring lasting peace to this planet? Are we going to grab for ourselves or are we going to give to others? Are we going to be selfish or are we going to save the world? The choice is ours. I think we all know, however, which choice our Heavenly Father wants us to make. May we all then make our troubling times less troubled by living our lives in love, joy, goodness, kindness, and oneness with God.