Tuesday, June 27, 2017

These are the days . . .

These are the last days of June . . .

You should read that with the image of drinking the last few sips of lemonade.

June is soon gone . . .

Seriously, if you are not drinking deeply from the summer you are missing out in life.  You need to repent.

Because these are the days:

These are the days you pined for as you sat under a blanket and it sleeted outside.

These are the days that you ached for as you drove home from work in the pitch dark . . . as you woke up in the morning before the heat kicked on and you felt your way through the dark house for the thermostat.

Summer - days of t-shirts and flip-flops.  S'mores in the firepit out back.  Days at the pool.  Weeks at the beach.  Early morning fishing.  Afternoons in hammocks.  Ice Cream at sunset.

These are the days to forget what the date is.

These are the days to have friends over.

These are the days to throw a frisbee and take walks in the early evening.

These are the days to laugh at SNL as you give your wife a backrub and a fan blows relief through an open window.

Time is short.

Lightning bugs will soon disappear.

Summer has crested.  Even as we speak we are racing back to the shortest day of the year.

Don't miss this day to drink deeply from everything and everyone you love.

Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

                                 -Psalm 90:12

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Run, Hide, Tell? How about fight?

Terrorism is not going away anytime soon.

First off, let's not kid ourselves . . . it's not terror, it's war.  

Terrorism follows the pattern of frightening the public with a repeated list of demands.  It is meant to wear down a public through fear and eventually get them to the point of capitulation to an organization's goals.

So what are the jihadist's goals?

Yesterday a man in France used a hammer on a policeman in France saying, 
"this is for Syria."

Yesterday was about Syria.  Last week it was about God being great.  The Manchester bombing was believed to have been planned on the anniversary of the death of Lee Rigby.  There are no unifying aims coordinated to pursue a single goal of the Palestinians, Syrians, Egyptians, Saudis, Hezbollah, Al Aqsa, ISIS or just those that hate Israel.  The purposes for these violent outbreaks are all over the map.

That is not terrorism - that's war.  These are battles.  Radicalized Islam is at war with the Western World or the Western World is in the crossfire of Jihad in the most bizarre way - it doesn't involve holding land or claiming countries.  It wages war by never going away.  

It is never going away.  We can't run from it.

Which brings me to the "Run, Hide, Tell" policy of the London police.  An adaptation of the American, "run, hide, fight" protocol of an active shooter, the police are advising the public to have a response ready when terrorists strike.  Instead of freezing up, they want people to run or hide (or do both) and then let the police know what is going on.

The plan saved many lives in the latest waves of attacks in England because people actually had a plan.  No one played the hero - they got out of the way for the police to do their job.  

I don't disagree with the basic idea - but there is something that just doesn't sit right with me.

If we are in a war, maybe this is the time to be a hero.

If they are never going away, then why are we running?  Maybe we should aim to stop the attack the second it starts - with as many bodies as possible smothering the attacker.

I think of almost 75 years ago yesterday how tens of thousands of our young stepped onto a beach and ran into gunfire because we were at war with evil.  2500 men died that day, but tens of thousands lived on to defeat Hitler.  We changed the world by stepping into danger.

Those were soldiers, not civilians, I get it.  

But if this is a war and they are bringing it to our cities and civilians, then maybe we shouldn't be running and hiding.