We are living in a time when we need to take a long look at how we perceive the world around us, including a lingering look at the past, and mark it as past. Having done this, it’s imperative that look at what the future will be like if we continue our current actions, ideas and expectations. Here’s a statement to help me get my idea across:
“A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past; he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.”
Sydney J. Harris.
Most headlines communicate the truth of Mr. Harris’s definition of a cynic. Why on earth or even heaven would or do people spend time fretting and fuming about yesterday or one hundred years ago which cannot be undone, no matter how infuriating some acts or people have been. Any person, group or nation, regardless of spots of shame in the near or distant past, can look back and see some good, and rejoice!
Sidney was right. Seeing nothing but woe in yesterday, seems to motivate the idea that the future must be even worse!
The counter to the modern fad of cynicism is biblical teaching about past actions and suffering. Take the case of Joseph, the young man who was sold into slavery by his brothers. Joseph suffered the despicable betrayal, the suffering in a strange land, the missing the familial relationships with Father and Mother as well as a normal personal husband/wife relationship with a woman of his own faith. (His wife was a priestess of On).
Over time, God lifted Joseph to a very high place of responsibility leading to the saving of his family and nation from extinction. Taking note of the inner life of Joseph has helped many, including me, to get on with life, expecting things to get better. Notice the statement of Joseph to his brothers, when he had the power to kill them, but chose the path of a winner instead of that of a cynic:
Genesis 50:19 Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?
20 "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
21 "Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones." And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. (NKJV).
Copyright © 2017 Larry Lilly
Good IT work! Oral Deckard