The Rev. Bob Woods: Based on Acts 2 — 1-21: Fear or faith?
June 18, 2010
I've learned a new word recently. The word is, "apocaholics."
What is your opinion? Is the world as we know it doomed to inevitable ruin? For now, Let's go back to long, long ago, and far, far away, to a place in evolution where someone gave something to someone else in exchange for something different.
Around 80,000 years ago, seashells ended up far from the nearest coast, inland people were trading something they had for seashells from coastal people. At that point, those "modern humans" were introduced to new products. Then people began trading goods, services and, most important, knowledge, and a cooperative intelligence was created: A group of individuals could know many things, with each comprehending only one.
Soon crops and animals were domesticated and bartered with passing merchants.
Trading led to the development of writing, math and science, and soon the concept of time was developed. Look at this example that demonstrates how much time it takes a worker to earn an hour of reading light.
In Babylon times, it took at least 50 hours to earn that light from a sesame-oil lamp. In 1800, it took more than six hours of work to pay for it from a tallow candle. Today, through the innovations of many specialists, one second of work produces enough electricity to fuel a compact fluorescent bulb for one hour.
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The things we take for granted in our "modern world" evolved through many ideas meeting, blending, mating and evolving. Economic growth has been able to progress so fast in our lifetimes because ideas have been able to mix like never before.
So now, back to my beginning.
Are we "apocaholics," or do we think progress is sustainable? Here we are, gathered on this planet. Can you hear the noise from the sky? Can you hear the strong winds blowing? Can you see the tongues of fire spreading out, touching every person? Can you hear the excited voices talking in their own languages? Are you able to understand them in your own language?
Are you an "apocaholic" accusing everyone of being drunk? Or, do you believe God is still pouring out the Holy Spirit on everyone? Are you seeing the visions? Are you having the dreams? Do you see the wonders of creation?
Innovation is happening around the world, and ideas are spreading faster than ever before, due to networking technologies.
My prediction is that prosperity will increase, technology will develop, there will be less poverty and disease, happiness will increase, violence will decrease, freedom will spread, knowledge will continue to grow, the environment will improve and the wilderness will expand, maybe to other parts of the universe.
Thomas B. Macaulay, a British poet, historian and politician, criticized doomsayers of the mid-1800s.
"We cannot absolutely prove," he wrote, "that those are in error who tell us that society has reached a turning point, that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us, and with just as much apparent reason."
"Apocaholics" exaggerate risks and underestimate inventive responses.
We don't individually have all that it takes to do God's work in the world. Some of us are good at some things and others are good at other things. It is only as we work as a cohesive team, that we can accomplish all of what's necessary to be God's people in the world.
Jesus prayed for our faith. Our part is to work towards unity, rather than focusing on the things that divide us.
God's gentlest blessings on your journey.