'The Day After': what's our best response?
Perhaps you, like millions of other Americans, watched the television film The Day Afterm, which graphically shows the consequences of nuclear war. Whether or not you agree with the motives of those who made the film, it's likely you were deeply moved, even deeply disturbed, by the images of destruction and pain. But when the imagery fades, what's our best response?
The film itself concludes with the statement ''It is hoped that the images in this film will inspire the nations of this earth, their peoples and leaders, to find the means to avert the fateful day.'' No one would disagree that averting nuclear holocaust is imperative. But as worthy as the intent of the filmmakers may be, are fear and images of horror reliable and lasting sources of inspiration for a noble cause?
History should tell us it's highly doubtful that sheer fear of annihilation is going to be mankind's savior. Something far more powerful than fear is needed to save mankind from itself. There must be a spiritual awakening, a turning away from godless materialism.
Why? Because the only permanent safety is in a living, breathing, spiritually alivem relationship with God. Nothing less than waking up to the reality of God and His tender care for each of His children can truly destroy the fear of annihilation. Nothing less than daily communion with Him can pour His healing, pacifying graces into a world that desperately needs divine help.
Isn't this, in effect, what the Bible tells us again and again? We need to rediscover the Bible and the immediacy of its eternal promises. When it tells us , ''He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty,'' n1 we should take God at His Word. Throughout history people just like you and me have proved the safety of that ''secret place''-the abiding consciousness of His presence.
n1 Psalms 91:1.
We simply can't afford to be so mesmerized by images of death and destruction that we lose sight of what God can do for those who love Him. Didn't Christ Jesus say, ''Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom''? n2 Didn't he say, ''My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand''? n3
n2 Luke 12:32.
n3 John 10:27,28.
Jesus' promises stand forever, because they point to an eternal fact that not even nuclear holocaust can destroy: man's real Life is God and can never be taken from him. ''That Life is God,'' writes Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, ''Jesus proved by his reappearance after the crucifixion in strict accordance with his scientific statement: 'Destroy this temple (body), and in three days I (Spirit) will raise it up.' It is as if he had said: The I-the Life, substance, and intelligence of the universe-is not in matter to be destroyed.'' n4
n4 Science and Health with key to the Scriptures, p. 27.
That our real Life is not in matter to be destroyed isn't just wishful thinking. It's something we can prove for ourselves as we come to know God. And what inspiration to know that we each do have a relationship with our Father-Mother God to discover and explore! In that divine, tender relationship is the meeting of every human need and the power to prevent holocaust and protect our loved ones.
If we really want to do the most that we can to bring peace to the world, isn't it time to wake up to this relationship so that we may see God's tender mercies at work in our lives and in the world? Our individual safety, and the world's safety, are in direct proportion to how alive we are to spiritual Life. Once we see this fact, we'll realize that nothing is more important than getting to know our heavenly Father and furthering His kingdom on earth.
Are we willing to dedicate our lives wholeheartedly to Spirit, God? Our world depends on our answer. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. Job 22:21