This month on 1Africa, we’re discussing one of life’s “big questions” every day. Today’s topic: Why is everything so messed up? Be sure to check in next week for more big questions!
In realm of big questions, the reason behind the chaos that the world finds itself in, is a pretty enormous one. The problems society is currently facing are widespread and diverse and it would be a much easier job to fix it if we knew exactly what caused all of the challenges. Let’s be honest, the world is in a bit of mess, but who’s to blame?
It’s my fault
Often when the state of the world is up for discussion the question “How can God let this happen?” isn’t far away. The truth is that regardless of where you stand on the existence of God, the answer to the state of the world lies within the heart of mankind. Sadly, every single one of the world’s problems has been caused by people. Famines, wars, slavery, crime, you name it – it can all be laid at our door, one way or another.
Don’t get me wrong, mankind has a great capacity for doing good and being carriers of hope and light, but even in the best of us there is also great capacity for darkness, hatred, anger, and destruction. The poet and philosopher G.K Chesterton, when asked what was wrong with the world, answered simply: “I am”. We, all of us, have dark areas of our character that do nothing to make the world a better place. Considering that there are more than seven billion people inhabiting the Earth and each one has similar character flaws and weaknesses, it’s not hard to see how conflict, greed, and pride have taken over. We are, after all, just human.
We all fall down
Have you ever played that game where you have wooden blocks all stacked in a tower and you have to remove blocks from the bottom of the tower and place them at the top of the stack without knocking everything to ground? It’s a lot of fun and takes a steady hand and a fair amount of nerve. The thing is that as you remove blocks from their original place in the tower the whole structure becomes more unsound, more wobbly, and even though the tower is getting taller and more impressive, its stability is severely compromised with each move. It doesn’t take much. The smallest nudge or adjustment can make the whole thing come crashing down.
The world and its social structure are a bit like this game. We may have many of the original building blocks still in play but in a bid to move forward, to progress and improve things we’ve changed the order, adjusted the structure, and in many cases made the whole thing really unstable.
Material gain, recognition, power, and influence have been increasingly brought to the forefront while the values that continue to hold everything together like honesty, compassion, humility, family, and respect are left trying to balance out the top of the tower. We so eagerly build higher and more impressive structures we haven’t bothered to stop and make sure the foundations are going to keep it all standing strong. Each of us are too busy making sure our own block makes it to the top without considering the effect that will have on the whole.
The heart of the matter
But what about God? If He’s all powerful and in charge; why doesn’t He fix it all?
God made us with the ability to choose and make decisions about our lives. Adam and Eve were free to choose whether or not to obey God and stay within the boundaries He set for them and they chose not to listen to God but instead followed someone else’s advice. As a consequence death and destruction became part of human existence and we continue to live with the results of their choice – and the choice of every human being since – today.
But, just as we can choose chaos and instability we can also choose a better way; the way God intended when He created mankind; a way that was good. You may not be able to fix the world and its mess or the people who are living by their own rules and standards, but you are able to choose to return God to the rightful position in your life.
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