Why are the “talking heads” so glum?

Why are the “talking heads” so glum? Thomas Friedman, in his Sunday column in the New York Times, reported that because of the economic downturn the residents of Tracy, California, are now going to be charged to use their emergency 911 service. You can pay $48 a year to cover unlimited 911 calling, or you can wait and be billed $300 for every time you have an emergency. “Welcome to the lean years,” Friedman opined. For the past seventy years Americans have lived off the fat of the land. Our parents may have been the Greatest Generation, but we have become the Grasshopper Generation, Friedman observed, “eating through the prosperity that was bequeathed us like hungry locusts.” But after the feast comes the famine. “Let’s just hope our lean years will only number seven,” referring to the Genesis story of the crippling Egyptian famine. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/21/opinion/21friedman.html?scp=2&sq=Thomas%20Friedman&st=cse)

Have you noticed—there is a growing chorus of voices who, with increasing doom and gloom, are pronouncing an impending finis to life as we know it? (“The fat lady has sung” is the headliner to Friedman’s column.) Even the young are becoming disillusioned. The Pew Research Center released a study this week revealing that young adults (18-29 years old)—who were a political force to be reckoned with in the last presidential election—are now “quickly cooling . . . amid dissatisfaction over the lack of change in Washington” (SBTribune 2-24-10). Political gridlock, economic quagmire—maybe the pundits are right—it’s fast becoming our way of life. But shall their “woe is us” carry the day?

May I recommend two responses from us, who profess a higher allegiance to a greater kingdom? Response #1—the stunning rapidity with which life as we know it is changing makes it imperative that now we invest our best and freshest energies to seek a deepening relationship with God. The new mini-series at this website, “Primer for the Next Generation,” is a series of teachings designed to aid us in doing just that. “PRYR 101” (part two) is a practical spiritual strategy for successfully living straight through a turbulent time like this. So please download the podcasts. Christ’s invitation is for you: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened [with life’s woeful headlines], and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28).

Response #2—the escalating newsbeat of uncertainty may exacerbate our anxieties, but by its very nature it also feeds the human longing for resolution. And what greater re-solution to this society’s woes than the invitation of Jesus, “Come to me and I will give you rest.” Do you realize that your friends right now are “wide open” for you to share your Savior with them? Crises always open the heart. So if you’ll email me at this website, I’ll send you a book that will change their lives, and yours, too. The little classic Steps to Christ is a practical, inspirational guide on how to experience Jesus’ “rest” in 2010. And given the gloom and doom of the talking heads and headlines, who better to turn to for the rest of his peace for the rest of our lives?