Cary, NC – Ecclesiastes 1:18 – “The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.” The truth of this scripture acts as a hand that has snatched me out of a dream, by way of my nightmares. Literally.
Need a little more clarity to really understanding what I’m saying? Acts 2:17 – “Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.” My body and mind seem to share in both the young man having visions, and the old man dreaming dreams. Being 50 doesn’t make me old, and it doesn’t make me young. It’s the reality of life that causes me to feel the impact of the years gone by.
I’ve never lived a life of segregation, nor have I ever lived in a segregated community. I’m a Cary native, and although Cary has always been a predominantly white town, I can honestly say the sadness and suffering of segregation that so many of my own family members had to endure is something I can only identify with through their stories, and history.
Growing up, my mother and my grandmother taught me to treat people for who they are, and not for what they look like. It seemed like everybody I grew up with were being taught the same things. Were there people around that hated other people because of their color? Absolutely, and there always will be. But I can honestly say that as far as my childhood, that side of evil never had any real estate in my life. And to God be all of the glory for that blessing. I didn’t have to be trained and constantly instructed about how to navigate day-to-day life because of my color.
Don’t get me wrong: my mother and grandmother didn’t sugarcoat when they talked to me about the condition of the hearts of other people that couldn’t accept any color that didn’t look like theirs. They kept it all the way real with me. But it was how they shared that wisdom that I truly believe I was blessed with the opportunity to just be a kid and enjoy life with other kids without boundaries or fears.
Now let’s deal with the nightmares I mentioned in the beginning of the article. In the Bible, the number 40 represents long suffering. Genesis 7:4 – God said to Noah: “Seven days from now I will make the rains pour down on the earth. And it will rain for forty days and forty nights, until I have wiped from the Earth all living things I’ve created.” Are you wondering why God sent rain for forty days and forty nights to flood the Earth? Here’s why: Genesis 6:5 – “God observed the extent of human wickedness on the Earth, and saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.” There are many examples in the Bible that expose the long suffering that comes with the number forty.
The people of Noah’s day had theirs, and we’re going to get ours. Next year is 2020. 20+20=40. Let’s add another layer. On top of the number forty, like a lion waiting to attack its prey, is the 2020 election. Anybody that really knows me knows that I don’t talk about, or do, politics. It has become the most divisive subject that I’ve seen in my lifetime. I’ve seen life-long friends, co-workers, families and even the Christian church digging massive emotional chasms, separating themselves over politics. The chasms represent the divide, the divide represents the choosing of sides and the choosing of sides represents the choosing of an enemy. Because you can’t choose a side without first choosing an enemy.
People are choosing chasms over Christ, and politics over God’s people. Rescuing animals has become more important than rescuing people. The first round of segregation was all about color. This current round of segregation is all about the color of your favored politician. Everywhere I go, I hear people blaming these politicians for the great divide that has overpowered our communities. Some blame President Obama for what he did, and some are blaming President Trump for what he’s currently doing.
But what about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? What about the risen Savior that died for us all? Does He blame President Obama for the great divide that’s taking place, or does He blame President Trump for the angry evils that have sadly become the new normal? Let’s see what He says in His own words: Matthew 12:36-37 – “I the Lord tell you, on the day of judgement people will give an account for every careless word they speak. By ‘YOUR’ words, ‘YOU’ will be justified or condemned.”
Yikes!!! Now let’s see what Jesus tells us about President Obama and President Trump:
Romans 13:1-2 – “All authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So ‘ANYONE’ who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.”
First, I want to say two things! 1) When you read God’s word, you’re accountable for what you do with God’s word. 2) None of us can pick and choose which parts of God’s divine will we want; it’s a packaged deal. Both President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump represent endless possibilities. Most people never thought we’d have a black president, and most people never thought Donald Trump would win. But with God, all things are possible. That’s what these two presidents represent, and we missed it.
So, what does all of this have to do with the title of this article,
“A Duran Duran Song?” I grew up in the 80s, which was the greatest decade there ever was. You couldn’t have lived in the 80s and not at least heard about Duran Duran. I heard a Duran Duran song from a 1993 album that I’d never heard before: “Ordinary World.” The lyrics from this song had somewhat of a choking effect on me. They wouldn’t let me breathe until I gave them my full attention. I listened to it at least 25 or 30 times in a row, and it was at that point that I understood what it was all for.
There’s one particular part of the song that seemed to stand out, causing the transfer effect that turned my dreams into nightmares. The lyrics read:
“What has happened to it all, crazy some would say, where is the life that I recognized, it’s gone away. But I won’t cry for yesterday, there’s an ordinary world, that somehow I have to find. And as I make my way to the ordinary world, I will learn to survive.”
Ordinary – Merriam Webster “With no special or distinctive features; normal.”
So where do we find this “ordinary world?” Better yet, what is an “ordinary world?”
It’s quite simple – It’s called Heaven, There are no distinctive features there. There are no differences. There’s no you and me. There is no side to choose. To God be the glory, for in His “ordinary world” there will be no more politics. And with the politics goes the choosing of an enemy. I’ve had some hellish nightmares in this 2019 year, dreams I’ve never had in my life. Dreams of great death and suffering in 2020, #our40. 40 represents long suffering, and we’re about to witness it in ways that we never imagined. It’s already revealing itself right before our eyes. Our sweet little children are being shot while they sit in their classrooms. Compassion is something we extend with terms and conditions, not with loving hearts.
Grace is no longer a gift, it’s an investment. We only give it if there’s something in it for us. Jesus died so that it will always be free, but we make sure it always comes with a cost. I’ve had dreams about lynchings, children crying in the streets as they’re draped across their dead parents. Mass shootings, totaling numbers that I don’t even care to put in this article. Innocent people heckled and ridiculed because of the color of the person they fell in love with. I dreamed that our school hallways had become a place to self-destruct with violence over difference of opinions.
Let me tell you something about opinions. They can’t get anybody into Heaven, and they can’t keep anybody out of hell. So it’s best to just keep them to yourself. We’ve lost sight of the precious gift of agree to disagree. Disagree with somebody these days and they’ll label you for life. President Obama and President Trump were instituted by God to expose the evil that people have hidden in the darkness of their hearts, and you don’t have to look far to find it: just keep living. That reality should give us clear understanding of just how far away from the good Lord above we have allowed our society, and souls, to drift.
God appoints leaders over nations, but not always to bless the people. Sometimes He does it to prepare the people for the very judgment they’re asking for, and that’s where we are. The only glimmer of hope in all of this madness is that revival is coming! HALLELUJAH! Before you can rebuild something to make it better, something has to be torn down.
This is not what God wanted for America, it’s what America has asked for. We wanted to make everything about us. We pushed God, His Son, and his Holy Word off of the very landscape of America. So now, we’ve been left to our own devices. God has handed us over to us. Our rules, our distorted idea of compassion, our lack of grace and our “get even” way of thinking is the new normal we wanted. There’s nothing social about social media. And still yet we walk through it like a walk in the park, pretending to be something we’re not. Living a life to impress people that can’t even make time for us. We’ve mastered the art of busy, with no clue about just how bad off our children are. Marriages have become arrangements, materialism has become a God and our mirrors no longer tell us the truth. We’ve lost our identities. But as my sweet grandmother use to say: “Jesus is going to fix it all.”
Thanks Duran Duran, for reminding me that one day I’m going to leave this life behind and trade it all in for a beautiful eternal “ordinary world.”
To all of the innocent people that have lost their lives to senseless violent hate crimes: Save me a seat in that eternal mansion.
Story by Jimi Clemons. Photos by Getty Images and Sgt. Sean Martin with Department of Defense.