Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Future Shock: “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”

We got an email last week from a pastor in a rural village in Kenya, Africa, who found the Well of Life Ministries website and had begun listening (or watching) the Treasures of Truth. What an amazing thing has happened in our lifetime—a world-wide-web of instant communication.

When I was a college student in 1970, everyone was reading the book “Future Shock”—a term by author Alvin Toffler describing the psychological state of individuals and entire societies from "too much change in too short a period of time." Popularizing the term “information overload,” he believed these future changes would cause people to feel overwhelmed, disoriented, stressed and disconnected.

Forty years later, the future shock has become a present reality. And sociologists and psychologists are pondering its mental & emotional effects on individuals and societies. Remember when Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz said: “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” Well as much as we’d like to, we can’t just click our heals and go back to the way things used to be.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed these days, reflect on Jesus’ timeless words. “Come to me, all of you who are suffering from information overload, and I will teach you how you to rest in these stressful times when things are changing so fast” (Mat 11:28-29, Greg’s paraphrase!). When the cosmic commotion was too much for Jesus, He found His rest in God's unchanging Presence.


  1. Greg,

    I was led to study the kingdom of Heaven in Matthew (since it is the only place where that term is used in the New Testament.)In that study I discovered that the term "kingdom of Heaven" emphasizes the rule of Heaven.

    Heaven's ways of doing things are unfamiliar to us; but they can be learned! And when I began to apply (feebly, at first) what I was learning, one particular by-product accompanied my experience: stress decreased phenomenally! I could be in the same circumstances that formally stressed me out and remain calm and focused on the Ruler of Heaven's assignment for in me in the midst of the surrounding pressures.
    It is probably for a good reason that Matthew and his emphasis on the kingdom of Heaven precedes all other books of the New Testament. While other NT writers use the term "kingdom of God" emphasizing the Governor of Heaven, Matthew starts the whole ball rolling with a subtle announcement that there is a new way to learn doing/saying/thinking things here on earth. Jesus' "invasion" of earth made it possible for all of His people to freely gain access to the "throne of grace (which is in Heaven!) to obtain mercy and help in time of need!"

    But the best part of it all, way beyond receiving timely help during times of stress, was standing amazed in Jesus' Presence and feeling Him, as it were, soothing away my stress and empowering me "to will and to do of His good pleasure!" In an accurate confidence based on absolute truth I could go forward into life's challenges and be the "more-than-conqueror" He has qualified me to be for His glory! And that is a good place!


  2. Thanks for sharing this, Stan... Someone has said (was it me?) that the Kingdom of Heaven is not a place, but a 'space' we occupy and that must occupy us. A good space to keep yourself in with in today's craziness.