"It's the end of the World as we know it and I feel fine." Ah, vintage 1987 R.E.M. (I am personally well acquainted with that fine graduating class). I am not someone calling the end date for the world, bu many of the conversations I have been having or watching on T.V. regarding politics, war and the economy remind me of this song. As a matter of fact, you can often hear me singing this little tune from my office from time to time.
Uncertainty, fear, powerless, disgust and hopeless are words I hear a lot of lately, but still...I feel fine. It may be crazy, but I really am fine with all that is happening in politics, war and the economy. I will weigh in with my passionate opinions (I have a lot) and I care deeply about the future of our world and country and what that means for my children, family and friends but still...I feel fine. Why? Because God is in control and He is on the throne! I was reminded of how cool and calming this fact is in a recent conversation with a "wealthy" friend and passionate follower of Christ. We had, as I indicated above, a passionate and opinion filled conversation about politics and the economy--the outcome, we concluded, looks grim. Even so, he looked at me and said, "I am comfortable with this scenario because it is not my stuff anyway!" (This guy has a lot of "stuff"). My friend continued to say the more he realizes his "stuff" is His "stuff" (notice the capital "H"), the more peace he has concerning the ever changing financial climate. Now that is a great attitude! Yes, this man gets up, goes to work and does his best to provide for his family and the church, but his perspective is set on the eternal. The conversation left me nervous about the future economic outlook but comforted and resolved on our shared eternal outlook. And just to be clear, eternal outlook involves the great opportunities that await God's children in THIS WORLD to share Jesus with people who are loosing confidence in their "stuff"and are opening up to the call of Jesus.
In this crazy and uncertain end of the world as we know it climate, followers of Christ should feel fine. I did not say "have to like it" but feel fine. This feel fine attitude can be one of our greatest witnesses to a world that desperately needs Jesus. After all, this is exactly what Paul had in mind when he wrote Philippians! Read these familiar words through the lens of contemporary culture and be comforted:
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Question: What are some practical ways parents/adults/youth workers instill this feel fine attitude in students?