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My oldest daughter, a college student in the south, recently expressed her concerns about what she called the coming end of the world. She was upset with the natural disasters and said that she wanted to,”… grow old, get married, and be a mother and a professional before the world ends.”
When I tried to comfort her on the apprehensions she had about the future – and I’m a realist in the best sense of the word. Namely, I hold a pretty grim view of where we’re headed – and challenged her to live in the moment. To not fix on her extended future, but stay focused on her school work. She called me on my age, saying, “That’s easy for you to say. You’ve lived a full life.”
I laughed as her blunt assessment of my future. She wasn’t being rude or argumentative, but she was pointing out an obvious fact that I’d survived to meet a future she doubted she would ever enjoy. Nothing I said seemed to lift her spirits about the future.
Hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, the economy, crime, are all subjects she talks about in class and with her friends. And she’s certainly not the only one who’s concerned. I believe the youth of our time feel more than see the approaching darkness, and it scares them. The news only awakens them to their fears. Makes them worse, even. They see most of us as unconcerned, complacent, and satisfied with our time. Perhaps even uncaring about their future.
I assured my daughter that I have not yet come to terms with my own future. But personal feelings aside, I know what’s coming. Maybe not when, but knowing the change will come in my lifetime is enough to trouble me for her. So, I tried to point out that threats, especially natural disasters, are everywhere. “Here in Washington,” I said, “the threat of earthquakes and volcanoes is absolute.” That didn’t reassure her, and she called me on it.
I explained to her that life here is not singular, that it’s short in perspective with the eternities. Only a small blip on our master plan of progression. Her response, “But I want to live this life as me.”
That made me think. My daughter is smart like that, very practical and direct, but also intuitive. The desire to live as oneself is entirely unavoidable when you’re living in it. It made me wonder if I was ready to walk away from Ken. I’ve certainly made mistakes in this life, mistakes I wish I could undo, but I also hope to accomplish something great before I leave. My daughter only wants the same thing. First and foremost, to be a great mother.
But there was more to her fears than the disasters. She was too young to remember Katrina and Rita, but disasters come and go. Still, there’s something going on with our youth. Sure, they’re different. And not just their age, or how they’ve been raised to rely on a technologically saturated environment. It’s more than that. They actually feel something coming. It’s as if they’re trying to remember something they’ve already been told.
I can’t tell you how many twenty-something kids I know, both family and friends, who’ve practically shut themselves down because they believe the future we enjoyed will not be available to them. They don’t believe they’ll have a peaceful future, and it scares them. It scares me.
I told my daughter that we may not be able to stop the change, but we don’t have to fear it. Fear is a tool of the enemy. It kills the mind and troubles the spirit – that we can’t afford to waste a moment of our time worrying about a future we can’t change.
But we can bravely prepare to face it. We can start by first, recognizing the source of our divine existence. We’re not here by chance or accident, living on some cosmically bizarre anomaly called Earth. This world was made for us. And everyone is born precisely for a reason. The timing and purpose of our participation is as divine as who we are, individually.
I’ll finish this life as, “Ken,” and return to be who I was before I came here to be physical. Only I’ll have learned something more of myself. After my accounting, or life-review, I’ll be better than I was before. No matter how much or how well we do, we all learn something from this life, be it one day, or fifty-plus years.
Youth of this world, my daughter, my children, do not despair for the future! This is the desire of the enemy, to break you before the real fight begins. It’s psychological warfare at its finest, and you must be strong. We, the old-timers of the world, need you strong and ready. Ready to oppose evil and darkness, to stand for justice and mercy, to be filled with light and quick to offer charity and love. We need you!
We already know who wins the fight. God if greater than them all. He is love and light. All that’s left for us to do is prove ourselves worthy of this opportunity. Be steadfast and endure with honor.
I’m excited to report that “The Opposer” has endured it’s final edit in preparation for release to a publisher. The final seven chapters carry the story to an climatic conclusion. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
For those who have no experience with The Opposer, its a book like no other. Some call it biblical historical fiction because I touch on many pertinent relationships from the Bible. Personally, I consider it more of a behind-the-scenes story of relationships – of possibility not yet realized – of new and interesting ideas and possibilities. I don’t repeat the old stories and accounts, but fill the gaps with new ones. So, if you haven’t read any part of The Opposer, you’ll soon have the opportunity.
I’m also working on a compilation of the Gatekeeper Series under the title “Gray House.” It will include the first four books in the series, and wrap up with an exciting and original ending.
There’s one other project on my radar, but I won’t spoil it by sharing the details until I’m close to releasing Gray House. Until then, stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.
Regards and my sincere appreciation,
CHAPTER 11 – SERVE AN EXAMPLE
The trial over, Cain hung in the air by his limbs, several feet above the ground, suspended between two heavy stone columns of black marble. The chains that bound him to the poles were stretched taught, presenting Cain as an insignificant X to those sitting in and around the multi-tiered stands of the arena.
Wild cheers, obscene gestures, and many crude taunts filled the air, all of which were directed at Cain and the traitor Captains behind him. It was loud – nearly too loud to think. The sound of the unruly host was almost overpowering as the noise reverberated through the arena in energy waves with explosive force, bouncing around and building up in intensity with sufficient energy to crush ordinary, mortal organs and shatter human bone.
The only effect the noise had on the attendees was to encourage them further, for they were of a different composition, one of finer matter, where limitations of the flesh had no bearing. Still, the volume within was murderous, and despite the discomfort it served, it added significantly to Lucifer’s pleasure. He was even more pleased when the volume rose to a higher pitch when he entered the arena.
After waving once, Lucifer stepped onto the elevated judge’s dais. He regally assumed his seat at the bench after adjusting the long pleats of his elegant purple robe. He wore a crown of fiery metal around his head, emblazoned with cryptic ruins from the Dark Order, which he knew would accentuate his dark hair and green eyes. For this occasion, he also wore his sword, a fine piece of work that appeared more ceremonial than practical, but was nevertheless a very deadly instrument.
Sitting just above eye level to Cain, Lucifer was still more than twenty feet away. He looked at the prisoner, leaned forcefully forward, and then spat at him with contempt. Though the spittle did not reach Cain, it wasn’t meant too. As part of the act, it was meant only to enliven the crowd. And it worked. They went wild with Lucifer’s gesture, for they knew it meant the torture would soon begin.