An oil spill has occurred in the Gulf of Mexico. The currents have already carried into the shrimping grounds off Louisiana and Alabama. Now fears are growing that the growing spill will head for the Florida Keys and out into the Atlantic. No one can predict the mischief that will do on the environment and on our world economy. I have doubt that soon the proponent of alternative forms of energy will be using this as another of why we must break our dependence on fossil fuels. It may have already in the blogosphere.
A far more powerful message to me is the reminder that life is fragile. We are not in control as much as we like to think. Our interdependence with one another and the planet itself is deeper than we can imagine. No amount of human knowledge or technology can deal with this reality to provide us perfect security. Factories in China can put us in harms away as a human community, as can the religious extremism of persons living in remote corners of the globe. American economic policy and American spending can bring about the collapse of entire nations. A renegade in Russia can still unleash terrible nuclear death. A virus created by a dysfunctional teenager can wreck communication systems. And earthquakes can, in a few seconds, change a nation’s whole way of living and rewrite their history.
Probably the greatest danger to humanity and the planet upon which it dwells is the arrogance of men (and women). Arrogance that believes it can selfishly pursue its own aims without any consequences, and that its uniqueness can keep it above the suffering of the rest of the world. Another word for arrogance is pride. Pride that says we’ll do it my way and meet my needs, and everyone else can take a number.
And another word for that arrogant pride is sin. An old-fashioned word to some. An unwelcome and judgmental word to others. Sin always leads to destruction and given the fragility of life –unaddressed sin will always destroy someone and something. Romans says, “The wages of sin is death.” Sin also collects its price.