Spiritual Matters – by Rev Chris Sparks
A fortuneteller was gazing into her crystal ball, talking to the image of a frog: “You are going to meet a beautiful young woman” she said. From the moment she sets eyes on you she will have an insatiable desire to know all about you. She’ll be compelled to get close to you. You’ll fascinate her.”
The frog replied: “Where am I? At a singles club?” “No”, replied the fortuneteller: “A Biology class!”
Many of us think we’d like to be able to predict the future – know what will happen to us in days to come.
The French king Louis XI, a devout believer in astrology, was deeply impressed when a practitioner of the art correctly predicted that a lady of his court would die in eight days’ time. However, for unknown reasons the king felt threatened by the too-accurate prophet, and decided he had to be killed. So Louis summoned the man to his court, having first instructed his servants to throw the man from a window – to certain death – upon his signal.
As the astrologer stood before the king, Louis addressed him: “You claim to understand astrology and to know the fate of others,” he said. “So tell me now what your own fate will be, and how long you have to live.”
“I shall die – just three days before Your Majesty,” answered the astrologer.
The shaken king canceled his plans!
The reality is that none of us can accurately predict the future or know with certainty what lies ahead.
Most of us are familiar with the comment Mark Twain made in London in 1897 while on a speaking tour around the world. Unfortunately, he was saddled with considerable debt and hoping to earn enough money to pay it off. But while in England’s premier city, he became aware of a rumour circulating that he was seriously ill. Before he could move to quash this rumour, it was followed by another that claimed he was dead! So, at home in America, a newspaper leapt onto the story and printed Twain’s obituary.
A London reporter quickly discovered the truth and asked the famous author to comment: Twain responded: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated!”
It’s not hard to get things wrong sometimes! Predicting what may happen in the future is fraught with peril.
It’s not for us to know the times or the seasons. Another goof – among many – was made by a record company executive in 1962 when he said “we don’t think the Beatles will do anything in their market. Guitar groups are on their way out.”
Jesus warned his disciples that God would one day enact judgment upon the world. At the same time, he warned against anyone seeking to predict when that would occur. However, many have tried – considering themselves capable of hacking into the mind of God. But all in vain.
Of this I am confident: We will never out-think God. Indeed, we shouldn’t even try! That was the mistake Adam and Eve made. But we can be confident that the future is in God’s hands; that he will continue to love and care for his people. That nothing God purposes will spiral out of control!
To think we can outsmart him is both wrong and foolish. The world’s future is in his hands. And that’s good enough for me!