Everyone thinks his or her life is the worst. Right now I find it hard to imagine that anyone’s life could be more challenging, difficult, or hellish than mine. As I walk the streets late at night in Amsterdam I know that this is not true. Yet in the cool light of a bight summer’s morning it is hard to remember just what I saw. Is my struggle to survive so extreme that I am pushing flattened stubs into round shapes so I can have a hint of a smoke? Have I so lost my focus and will to live that I aimlessly and wordlessly wonder down streets under construction to play with the sand piles? Are my values and priorities in life twisted beyond recognition so far that integrity in my relationships has no meaning or honor?
Life is idyllic for everyone but me! Sitting around, doing little to nothing, not a care in the world is the norm. Even God doesn’t worry about what is going on – sitting there on a cloud.
Life seems to confirm my suspicions. John writes that “I looked up, I caught my breath!—a white cloud and one like the Son of Man sitting on it,” (Revelation 14.14) and I know my anger and frustrations are justified! Without even going further I know God is doing nothing about the problems of the world. My analysis doesn’t end here; everywhere I look the same conclusion applies. Judgment reigns! Managers are not doing their job. Service reps don’t care. Supervisors couldn’t be bothered. Judgment and job termination is the only answer that applies!
If I read on I would see that the angel is calling God into action. The result is that God “gave a mighty sweep of his sickle, began harvesting earth in a stroke.” (Revelation 14.16) When I look further I find people all around me are struggling to survive, desperately searching for hope, thirsty for compassion and acceptance. Life is a struggle and God’s hand extends to all equally. Question is, am I helping or hindering the process?