Ain't that a GREAT title? I' m coming to a conclusion. "Catastrophe" (what a word!) is best viewed from the "inside" of addiction.
Have you ever been around a chronic drunkard or a junkie of some kind? Viewed from the "outside" you say to them, "Well, why don't you just quit that junk?". Or, we say "Your life would be SO much better..."if only".
The "if-only's", the "why don't you just's" and such, look EASY from the "outside", and remain plainly impossible from the "inside". People will trash their marriages, ruin their careers, break the hearts of their family, go to prison and DIE...rather than fulfill the "easy" if-only clause of "helpful advice". Think on that. Is that type of advice still "good"? That is, if nobody CAN hear it?
I know one young guy dealing drugs. I can "fore-see" that he will either: 1. end up in prison 2. wreck his life 3. die. Oddly, he knows too! Does this in ANY way affect his behavior? NO...Definitely not.
Viewed from the inside, MY addictions, MY idolatry, is not-nearly "as-bad" as (say, for instance)...YOURS! We imagine catastrophe... is for OTHER people. Is this evidence of brain-damage in us? It is evidence surely of some kind of damage in us.
The excuse-making, finger-pointing, the disappearances, lies, this ever shrinking spiral of ever fewer good choices available...qualifies as "news"!
Think of the Hollywood types and their thieving, and whoring, the drunken rampages, forced re-hab...this is what we mean by the word "news"! From high-to-low, celebs-to-you-and-me, every last one of us thinks consequences (catastrophe) are for OTHER people. View then aright the fruit of Eden.
Look at our (so-called) "representatives". 535 men and women INCAPABLE of saying; "We were wrong", or "We lied, and spent far more than could ever be repaid". They believe catastrophe is for someone-else...power, money fame, the final addiction?
We can stand "outside" the addiction and say "Well, why not just balance the budget?". It looks EASY...from here. Yet the inside/outside factor of addiction to money and power clearly let us see the day of catastrophe when this means nobody (in their right mind) will accept "dollars". The impending collapse of confidence in the dollar is BUILT "here' at addiction. Addiction unto catastrophe. The junkie sees it coming, and cannot and will not "fix" the problem.
We all know this. But now I am beginning to think that perhaps catastrophe is a "product" we create for reasons of conscience? We know that there is something deeply wrong with ourselves. I was born crooked, and went off the rails from there. Does God know too? Or care? If He won't correct or punish wrong doing, well then, maybe I will!
When meth or heroin takes over a life and the issue is not whether there will be a "crash", but if it's survivable, is there ANY justice? All the waste, the hurt, the futility...Where is justice? Minus retribution from on-high, ..we punish ourselves.
If God cannot or will not correct or punish...must we? Is this what "catastrophe" is? The sense of communal guilt (or innocence), the sense communal punishment (or reward)...the deeply weird by-product here is a surfeit of "righteousness"...on OUR part!
I (the junkie) judge me, finding me "guilty", and yet strangely remain on my feet! If I knock me down, am I thereby "right" to do so, since God appears to be asleep at the switch? And at a national or world level of addiction, can we AFFORD such "righteousness"?
King Soloman says (somewhere) "Do not be overly righteous". I wonder what he has to say about catastrophe?
Here is the deal. True judgement arrives from "above", and is plainly unsurvivable unless a shelter appear. He has "appeared", and with His body built the ONLY shelter able to endure that "great and terrible day". The vicarious atonement of Calvary is the sole hope of mankind. Full stop. It is the reality of which the Ark in Noah's day was a prefigurement. If for any reason it "fails" (and that is impossible), then plainly we fail. But the Word has it that such a failure on His part cannot occur. He Himself has been roused out of the tomb, and stands in Person! It standing, (that atonement) we stand. Not otherwise.
The pearl of great price was dug up. For Another's sake you are loved, for Another' sake you are welcomed, and so, there is peace. You no longer need to try to be lovable! Because let's face it that sad attempt wasn't working anyway.