In a previous age, the author of Ecclesiastes wrote, ‘Vanity of vanity, all is vanity’ (Ecceliastis 1:2) but in this age, we could equally say ‘Insanity of insanity, all is insanity.’
I am not using the word in its medical or legal form, but as defined by Merriam-Webster as ‘extreme folly or unreasonableness’. In many respects, it seems that the world has lost its collective mind for wherever I look I see insanity manifesting to an even greater extent than COVID-19!
Some Current Examples
Let me give a few fairly current examples, some extreme and others less so, yet all fundamentally insane.
- At least one of the states in the USA allowed strip-joints to remain open yet prohibited churches from meeting together – insanity.
- Also in the USA, we observe an orgy of politically-oriented slander, lying, racism, looting, violence, cheating and vote-rigging in the midst of economic peril and a run-away pandemic – insanity.
- Back home in the good old RSA, we recently had taxis that were allowed to pack in 10 or more people into one vehicle but close family members were prevented from meeting together in a garden – insanity.
- Social distancing of at least a meter and a half is required on public streets, shops and so on, but hundreds of people pack into an aeroplane with about 30 cm separating them – insanity.
- Two thousand political party members marched on a school while matric exams were in progress to protest an assumed and unverified act of racism among the students and staff – insanity.
- Government’s denial, prevarication, and unwillingness to prevent the slaughter of hundreds of farmers when that sector of the economy not only contributes in a major way to our financially ruined state coffers but also provides food for millions of near-starving citizens– insanity.
- A previous head of state pleading repeatedly to be given his day in court while doing everything possible to prevent this from happening – insanity.
- And the list goes on, and on, and on… and on!
On the Lighter Side
To give some relief from contemplating these dire examples I cite just a couple of funny minor examples of insanity. My car’s GPS unit has a voice-activated function. I say to it “Find place” and it tells me to speak out the place I want. I say “Pick n Pay Lonehill” and after a suitable interval of computerised pondering it comes back with “Did you say ‘Pick up loners?” And so it goes until I snap “exit” and try to find my own way to the desired destination. My little granddaughters howl with mirth from the back seat, and I just howl. Then just yesterday, I was using the search feature on a major store’s website to look for a cordless phone. What did it produce? It showed a whole lot of cordless kettles and power tools. When I paged through a relevant department on the very same site, I found several cordless phones on sale – insanity.
Not everyone is Insane
This is not so. You probably are not insane and I don’t think that I am. But as Robert Owen said, “All the world is queer save thee and me, and even thou art a little queer”, so perhaps you are thinking that about me (of course in Owen’s day ‘queer’ just meant ‘strange’) ;-P
God is certainly not insane and the bible is the sanest of books. In Deuteronomy 1:13 the criteria for leadership within the Kingdom of God include wisdom, understanding, and respect. Acts 6:3 establishes similar criteria for church deacons in that they were to be ‘known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.’ Concerning all of us Paul wrote in 2 Timoty 1:7 that ‘God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.’
Very Sane Biblical Instructions
Romans 13:4-5 describes ruling authorities as ‘God’s servants to do you good…’ and 1 Timothy 2:2 instructs us to obey them ‘that we may have peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness’. If only more politicians would recognise this high calling.
Regarding the fear-induced insanity of the world around us, 1 Peter 3:11 tells us not to ‘fear what they fear; do not be frightened’ and Proverbs 1:7 states that the only kind of fear we should constantly experience is the fear (reverence) of the Lord, which is ‘the beginning of knowledge…’
The Moral of The Story
I am writing all this to make just one lucid point: The world has lost its mind but God has given those who follow him a sound mind – a mind focused on Jesus. The Christian church is to be a pool of order in a sea of chaos and a pillar of truth and sanity amid the crumbling ruins of falsehood and madness.
We can speak Truth where we have the opportunity and we can order our lives rationally and fearlessly. However, perhaps a greater challenge in these times is not to allow ourselves to slip into the whirlpool of political, economic, and religious madness that is swallowing up so much around us.
Keep clear-minded dear believer: keep focused on Jesus, and keep reminding yourself that God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. And just so you know, I take Robert Owen’s quip to heart and include myself in this exhortation to sanity.