Random reflections

When the prophet Job was tested and lost just about everything, after he had contemplated his losses, he asked questions of God which basically boiled down to ‘why me?’ In turn God peppered Job with eighty or more questions that although Job wouldn’t have an answer for, Job would be able to read between the lines and get the message that perhaps he would simply have to concede that his perspective was limited and to trust God.

Questions are valuable and invite contemplation. Some questions actually don’t have any answers – at least that we would know – and only in the mind of God is everything known. The following is a sample of some of the questions that I’ve been thinking about lately:

Will the South African cricket team ever win a world cup of any iteration?
For as long as I’ve been following sport, cricket has been there and has provided part of my identity as a South African male. The T20 final will be played tomorrow between England and the West Indies. Once again, in a final, South Africa is not there to finish things off and win. In every cricket world cup that South Africa has been a part of there has been an epic choke at one time or another. Some believe that the national psyche is damaged by years of racial politics in sport and that is the reason we will likely never win it. I would be happy to be proven wrong.

How do the leaders of countries get themselves and us into such a mess?
Robert Mugabe, Jacob Zuma, Barack Obama, Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin, David Cameron, and foremost in my mind lately, Angela Merkel have taken their countries to some pretty dark places in situations that have marred their legacy and some that are still developing now. History is supposed to serve as a lesson in what mistakes not to repeat and it seems that the current crop of world leaders is doing a pretty bad job. Is it because they have lost their perspective? Or are surrounded by advisors with an agenda? Or are they simply out of their depth? What is wrong with us the voters who keep electing them?

How far will the political West go in submitting to Islam?
There was a time when freedom of speech was vigorously safe-guarded in the West and it appears that since 9/11 the political class in the West (US, UK, Rest of Europe) came to the conclusion that if their countries treat Muslims with more respect and cede a bit of their freedoms, that everyone would be able to live in harmony. Rodney King once famously asked in the context of race relations in the US, ‘cant we all just get along?’ Well, what is free speech worth to you? Are you willing to submit to Islam? This is basically what the geo-politics now boils down to. You are allowed to praise Mohammed, however if you criticise Mohammed what will happen? I you remove the freedom of your citizens to criticise Islam what will the results be? Can we even guess?

Will there ever be an end to ‘racism’ as a political tool?
According to the Scriptures we are one race, the human race. And we’re not even a very nice race at times when you come to think of it. We have major problems, moral problems, mental problems, spiritual problems, you name it. We are one race but many ethnicities, so more properly if we display bias towards or against a people-group we are committing ‘ethnism’. Because of the complete over-use of the term ‘racism’ it has essentially lost its meaning. Regardless of what it is called, I’m not sure there will ever be an end to people using ethnic differences to manipulate groups of people for political gain. Sadly.

Will we run out of oil soon?
Objectively speaking, the oil deposits trapped in the earth are finite. The Daily Mail website reported today that the Saudis have built up a war chest amounting to slightly more than 2 TRILLION dollars in preparing for the day when oil deposits will run out. They’re the guys who are running the biggest oil cartel in the world and they know that the fun will stop someday. When it does they will have a purse that would be the envy of a hundred Gupta families. By the time that happens people will have figured out a way to live without the oil. That’s what people do. We’re a sinful lot however we are collectively very clever. You can bet your last buck that someone will make a heap of money out of everyone though.

Is there anything better than a braai?
I’m not sure. Will let you know later this afternoon…

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