Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words
- 1918 had the Spanish Flu pandemic that killed at least 675,000 people in the United States and 50,000,000 worldwide.
- 1929 birthed the Great Depression, a multi year period of societal upheaval and economic collapse.
- 1941 ultimately led to our involvement in a world war after the attack at Pearl Harbor.
- 1963 saw the dramatic assassination of JFK.
- 1986 put a damper on the excitement of space exploration with the tragedy of the Challenger explosion.
- Violent crime rose dramatically from the 60’s to the 90’s, enough that most people no longer left their houses unlocked and were less likely to trust their fellow people.
- 2001 marked the beginning of a global war on terror with an awful display of evil.
- 2008 saw the Great Recession, the aftermath of which may be one of the causes of our great political division.
- 2020 was a train wreck we need not discuss further.
This is by no means an exhaustive list! It covers some major events that affected Americans in the last 100 years, but much more could easily be said about the negatives of our history.
This is important: Immunity was attained after two years of the Spanish Flu pandemic. Lifespans increased by a few years during the Depression and led to a hearty generation of folks who helped to win the Second World War. That war, as horrible as it was, led to many incredible breakthroughs in medical and other sciences, not to mention historically unprecedented economic prosperity. The 1960s at least exposed the ungodly, ugly nature of hatred and racism, leading to some positive changes that were long overdue.
Even in the worst of times, good happens. But even if it doesn’t, hope is invulnerable! For a Christian, these issues are simply the result of a fallen world and they’re temporary. The end of life for us is the beginning! We have one important thing that no crisis can destroy: hope. We are absolutely certain that death will be the moment we get to live in a perfect world with our creator (see also II Peter 3.13ff; Matthew 19.28; Ephesians 1.18ff).
Nothing can or should dampen our faith in God, our hope for a better life, our mission to pull people out of darkness, our attitude, our love for each other, our dedication to spiritual growth, our responsibility to take care of people, our resilience in difficult times, and our critical compulsion to emulate Jesus in every possible way while we still breathe.