Is it a great time to be alive?

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A few years ago, I came across a brochure for GE medical equipment that caught my attention.

This particular brochure, as you can see, welcomed newcomers to earth. GE’s television campaign at the time encouraged us to think that “It’s a great time to be alive.”

Really? Is it a great time to be alive when the proliferation of nuclear weapons by dictatorships bent on destruction of all who oppose them are becoming a reality before our very eyes? Is it a great time to be alive when the scourge of AIDS ravages the poor and needy among us? Is it a great time to be alive when our actions as consumers threaten our water supply, our power supply, and the other species that call this planet home? Is it a great time to be alive when religious extremism devalues and mistreats women, children, and dissidents in around a quarter of the world’s population? Is it really a great time to be alive?

And what about welcoming our children to earth with such optimism? More like welcome to everything that’s been screwed up for generations before you got here. Welcome to original sin. Welcome to a fleshly existence in which the only real hope is in what happens after you die. Welcome to where the lion eats the lamb.

So, what’s the deal? Is it a great time to be alive? Should we welcome our time on earth? Should we enjoy our stay? Or, is this place truly worthy of the distain we often heap upon it?

Which is it?

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6 responses to “Is it a great time to be alive?

  1. It seems to me that it all boils down to what we expect. We have a very skewed perception here in the US (especially in the burbs) of what one could and should expect from life.

    I just watched a video about a relief effort that is going on in Haiti. The people there know what real hope is, because they recognize their powerlessness. They are able to see beauty that is invisible to us. We have the misconception that the beauty of life lies in our own goodness and self-sufficiency, and can scarcely conceive of goodness in the midst of powerlessness.

    I’m not saying that the poor have all seen it. Far from it. But if more people would get out of their ecclesiastical striving for meaning by accumulation, far more would know what the real beauty of life is. Here on planet earth in 2009. In a fallen world where a great and victorious God is at work. Much more could be said, but I will leave it at that.

  2. Now I have a quote from “The Shack” echoing around in my head after Mack says (p.127) that he can’t imagine any final outcome that would justify what happened to his Missy.

    Papa says to him, “We’re not justifying it. We are redeeming it.”

    The beauty of this world is that it is the perfect setting for redemption. Perfect redemption.

  3. I like what you are saying here, Tracy. A lot of those I interact with think that Christians are the ones most likely to fail to see the beauty hidden around them.

    Do you think that’s true?

  4. Well, Christians should be the most likely to SEE the beauty hidden to others. Since Christians are people who cover the whole spectrum of personalities and natural tendancies, we are probably about as likely as the rest of the population to see the cup as half full or half empty. But God is not finished with us yet!

    The thing is, I don’t think he’s ever really “finished” with the unbeliever either.

  5. I think it’s a great time for a new post!

  6. I would LOVE to have a new post! Are you volunteering? 🙂

    I’ve been uber-busy, though I have about 4 posts percolating. I might get to one tonight, since Mel has a book club, and I just got done with some reading.

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