2010's: Decade of Perpetual Crisis
It is interesting that the older we get, the more the decade(s) of our childhood seem quaint and, if not perfect, certainly better than the present. Perhaps demonstrating a human coping mechanism, we often conveniently forget the negative occurrences of the past and focus almost exclusively on the cliché of the decade. Whether it be poodle skirts, bell bottoms, or yuppie plaid, the happy memories can create a longing for times gone by.
As we come to the end of yet another decade, it is interesting to consider how it will be remembered. When we look back on the 2010’s, what will be the number one memory of the times? While only history will provide the accurate answer to this question, pundits have begun making their predictions. One of particular interest appeared in the United Kingdom publication, The Guardian. The author, Andy Beckett, entitled his opinion essay, “The Age of Perpetual Crisis: How the 2010’s Disrupted Everything but Resolved Nothing.” Beckett’s rather lengthy writing contains the author’s opinions on a number of issues, but what he perhaps did not realize is that the premise of his article contained the same conclusion reached by another author many years earlier. It was the ancient writer of Ecclesiastes who penned, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9 ESV). In other words, every age is the age of perpetual crisis.
Still, the 2010’s has produced its share of angst. As one comedian quipped, “Everybody is angry, but not sure why.” Angry politics has led to a stalemate between the main two American political parties. The rise of young socialists has brought a degree of anger against capitalists, with capitalists returning the anger. Militant females have declared war on the male “patriarchy.” Even sports has bought into the anger with fans from rival teams seemingly unable to speak in civil terms about the successes or failures of the opponent. While all of this can be disconcerting, the far more important question is what this state of perpetual crisis is doing to the people of God.
God’s people are to be different; with citizenship in a heavenly land, their King promises peace in the midst of crisis: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). Christians, therefore, must be on their guard and not allow the events of the present to rob them of this eternal security; however, this is easier said than done. The decade of the 2010’s has brought extremely troubling issues into the main stream. Within the past ten years, many governments around the world have blatantly changed the definition of marriage and sought to rewrite God’s plans on the subject. Gender has been questioned to the point that “new” genders have been created for those who question how they feel. Violence against Christians throughout the world is on the rise. It seems that wherever one turns, “traditional values” are being undermined. What is a Christian to do?
First, make sure Christ is the primary influence in your life. The peace that God promises comes only through Jesus Christ: “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). This means that a relationship with Jesus must be genuine; it must be built on the foundation of trust that He is, indeed, Lord of all. If faith is built on anything less than this bedrock foundation, peace will be as fleeting as time itself.
Second, build strong relationships with brethren. As the apostle Peter admonished the faithful to fight against Satan, he reminded his readers that they do not stand alone in this fight: “Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (I Peter 5:9). Forfeiting brotherly ties is a recipe for failure. Knowing that others are fighting the same battle gives the strength to fight another day.
Third, turn off the news and open your Bible. The age of 24 hour news has perhaps aided in the feel of perpetual crisis more than anything else. News stories that once would have gained little to no attention are now blasted on the hour, leading newshounds to perceive that the sky is surely falling. While there is certainly nothing wrong with staying informed, a fixation on the world’s problems can rob the comfort of knowing God is in control. What better way could be found to remember His power than by opening His word and reading His promises?
Finally, rid your life of unneeded stress. If a losing ball team or bad call by an official creates a life crisis, stop watching! If tweets and posts of others bring about feelings of anger or gloom, drop social media! There is simply no need to allow the little things of life to take high priority and steal the peace that could otherwise be found.
If Earth is still spinning in the year 2030, its citizens will most likely look back with nostalgia on the 2010’s, remembering the good times and forgetting the bad. In the present, however, God has expectations for His people and promises peace in the midst of turmoil. Don’t allow your life to be guided by perpetual crises. Don’t allow anger to define you and destroy the relationships God wants you to enjoy. As this decade comes to a close, may every child of God give thanks for His blessings and the promise that no matter how dark this world grows, the Light that shone some 2,000 years ago still brightly shines today, leading those will follow to eternal peace.