While waiting for a repair, I noticed an elderly man reading the Wall Street Journal.
As he folded the paper, our eyes met and I commented on the headlines. He raised a bushy eyebrow. I ventured to ask what he thought about the North Korean threat.
He frowned, but then in what must have been a time-honored tradition of respect, the old man rose, bowed slightly, and politely shared that his name was Sidney.
Sidney counted off the fourteen presidents he’d lived through—recalling their achievements and enumerating their faults.
As a veteran, he also knew every American overseas military engagement. He explained that nuclear threats aren’t new, but there are now more diabolical players in the game.
“Did you hear that Iran’s Ahmadinejad wants to be president again?” he asked.
“He’d love to start World War III. He doesn’t care who dies. That’s his whacked theology.
And North Korea’s crack pot leader is crazy enough to think he can actually win a nuclear war. Do you know the worst part?” he asked me.
What could be worse, I wondered.
“It’s us.” He paused before continuing. “America is a prodigal nation. We’re running away from God.”
I remained quiet.
Slapping his newspaper, he said, “We worry more about nuclear threats than about angering God. Who do we think we are? We’ll never win without God on our side.”
After a few minutes, I gave Sidney a reassuring smile and said maybe our nation could be like the prodigal son who returned to his father when he realized it was the best place to be.
Sidney just raised a bushy eyebrow and shook his head.
P.S. Every nation has a lifespan. Ancient Babylon lasted 86 years. The Persian Empire lasted 208 years. Greece made it 268 years. Mighty Rome ruled for nearly nine centuries before moral corruption eroded it from within.
Being right with God makes a nation great, but sin is a shame to any people.