Just in TIME for Easter CK, a regular contributor to AA, sent this guest blog in so that I could have this day away. Thank you CK - and well said!
Just about every close friend I’ve ever had has eventually said to me that they thought they were born at the wrong time. If only they had lived in a different era, they would be happy. We live in a time unprecedented in prosperity, scientific advancement, entertainment, communication, transportation, and care for disease and yet we are one of the most unhappy generations of humans that the world has ever known. More people than ever are suffering from depression and record numbers of people are trying to escape this life through suicide. We have so many things that happier generations could only dream of. What is it that makes our time in history, a time that should be utopia, so unbearable.
Recently my car’s GPS system (my most beloved modern convenience) took me through a very bad neighborhood to get me to my destination. I was relatively safe because it was still daylight, and at every traffic light I took the time to study the stores and houses and apartments. Most buildings were just boring cubes of brick with barred windows, but I was surprised to find some beautiful, stately architecture despite the shattered windows and boarded up doorways. Saddest of all were the stunning churches, their steeples piercing a lovely blue sky, abandoned and neglected in the surrounding chaos. I thought to myself how tragic that this priceless piece of sacred art stands scarred and useless where no one wishes to linger too long. Why? It is not the trees, or the streets, or the blue sky that have ruined this church’s vocation. It is theft, and obscenity, and violence, and sloth, and intemperance that surround this church and make it unapproachable - in a word, sin.
My friends and I were not born at the wrong time. We rise to the same sun, breath the same air, and tread the same earth as our predecessors. But every one of us is like a church in a bad neighborhood. We can’t find lasting love, and we feel so anxious and unsafe, and we don’t feel like we belong anywhere. It’s not the times that are wrong – WE are wrong. It is sin that makes this “the wrong time”.
If we all obeyed God’s laws of chastity no one would feel used or be abandoned and we would find true love. If we respected that life of the unborn, perhaps we would respect the lives of the born and not always be on the edge of war. If we sought first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, we wouldn’t put our trust in kings and princes, or money, or drugs, or any other false gods. We would point our hearts toward our true heavenly home and not this life and its passing anxieties. We would realize that the reason we feel like a fish out of water is because this world is not our true home.
It is we who form the times, and it is we who can transform them. Our dark times mean that every faithful Christian is a beacon that makes so many heads turn to see where they can find the light they so crave. We can do nothing, but God can do everything, and He can change the world with one person who cooperates with His grace. His will for you today is right where you are with the people you meet today. You were not born at the wrong time - this is the time He chose for you before the beginning of the world. God has to scrape the bottom of the barrel today to find the few who are willing to conform themselves to His will. That means that we who are weak, afraid, and inadequate were born for greatness. If we cancel out our own wills and embrace God’s, perhaps at the end of our lives we will find that we were noble soldiers in a great spiritual battle. Perhaps we can make the times “right” not only for ourselves, but for the generation to come.