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Four Years Later and Still Holding

Hey, welcome once again to The Chaplain’s Corner. In my September column four years ago (before I started emailing), I began by talking about what my generation might call “the Glory Days” of the space program – back when everyone in the country was glued to their TV to watch the launches and returns. John Glenn, Alan Sheppard; Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo; watching with bated breath as heroes rode “fireballs” into the heavens on live TV. Then watching again as they returned to earth no-one-knew-exactly-where; watching the broadcast from the deck of an aircraft carrier as everyone on board scanned the sky for parachutes. In a number of respects, “those were the good old days.”

One of the most exciting parts of those rocket launches was the countdown. The closer it got to 1 minute, the more suspenseful. And then Chris Kraft of Mission Control: “T minus 3 minutes and holding.” HOLDING?!?! It was said so calmly. The countdown wasn’t the only thing being held…we held our breath, too. “Holding” meant something wasn’t quite right, and we had no way of knowing how long that “hold” would last. We knew the hold wouldn’t last forever. The problem would be resolved or the mission would be scrubbed.

Changing focus now to the spiritual, there’s a “voice” of a different kind of Mission Control that’s saying: “T minus 3½ and holding.” What’s being held are the last 3½ years of man’s attempt to rule mankind. It’s nigh on to impossible to view the events in the Middle East without Biblical prophecy coming to mind. In fact, the news commentators sometimes use Biblical terminology to describe things over there. As with the launch of the rocket, this hold will not last forever. However, unlike the rocket launch, this “mission” will not be scrubbed.

Daniel in the Old Testament, the book of Revelation in the New, and the Gospels all talk about end-time events. For years people have ridiculed those who have proclaimed that we’re in the “last days,” but now as events and political alliances begin to align ever closer to those spelled out in the Bible, as increasing hatred of the radical Muslim world is directed more blatantly towards the U.S. and Israel, I have to wonder how much time is left us. One thing is certain: we have four fewer years than when I wrote about this last.

The Bible not only speaks of wars and rumors of wars (and we are certainly seeing that played out each day), it speaks of military and political alliances. In describing the last days before the return of Jesus to this earth, the Bible talks of Russia being allied with the kings of the Middle East. Listening to the news reports of Russia helping Iran build the nuclear plants that will almost certainly lead to WMD production doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies.

The Bible talks about a one-world no-option monetary system in the end times. It is currently being discussed internationally. And with our government now nearly in a position to take over US banking, that is looking like it could come to pass soon.

So…what do we do? Jesus said, “When you see these things come to pass, look up, for your redemption draweth nigh.” He also said we were to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” What we do now is start taking spiritual inventory of our lives. We start paying attention to what “the Good Book” says and start building a solid personal relationship with God while the building’s good.

But as hard as it is to do, we should not despair. I’ve read to the end of The Book and I know how it ends. There are very hard times coming, yes, but at the end of it all, God’s going to rebuild it all, and for those of us who have built a relationship with Him, life will be better than we could ever imagine.

Let me finish out our time here with this: remember what I said about riding “fireballs” before? Nine years ago (short for us old codgers – eons for you young pups), we all sat glued to the TV to watch a completely different and unimagined kind of “fireball.” It happened that fast. The world changed in minutes. We watched heroes make “The Ultimate Sacrifice” and then we watched other heroes go beyond human endurance. 9/11 plus 9. Nine years since New York’s Finest, both police and fire, proved that they deserved the title. We must never forget that although they deserved the title, they didn’t deserve their fate.

Until next time: Blessings to you and yours.

Chaplain Bill

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