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Commentary

Above Us Only Snowflakes

Tue, January 02, 2018   |   Author: Peter Vogel   |   Volume 25    Issue 1   

What do John Lennon’s “Imagine” and Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s long walk in the snow have in common?

They both made statements about what is above us. John Lennon asked us to imagine that there is only sky above us—no heaven. Pierre Trudeau stated, after his long walk in the snow, that there were no signs of his destiny in the sky, there were just snowflakes.

John Lennon’s song is quite interesting because it does not say that there is no heaven, it just asks listeners to imagine that there is no heaven. If you were asked to imagine that there is no Ottawa, no capital for Canada, you would probably find it to be a bit tricky; you know that countries have capitals, and so you would ask where to imagine Canada’s capital would be if it weren’t Ottawa. Trying to imagine Canada without a capital, is awkward because Canada does have a capital.

Likewise, it should be hard for those who listen to “Imagine” to imagine that there is no heaven—because we know that there is a heaven!

John Lennon said that it would be easy to imagine that there is only sky above us, if we tried. Perhaps that is the case for some, but it is an exercise in suppressing the truth—and that should not be easy if we are rooted in reality.

P. E. Trudeau’s full quote, which announced his second and final resignation, was this: “I went home, discussed it with the boys, put them to bed. I walked until midnight in the storm, then I went home and took a sauna for an hour and a half. It was all clear. I listened to my heart and saw if there were any signs of my destiny in the sky, and there were none - there were just snowflakes.”

Looking to the sky for signs of one’s destiny, listening to one’s heart (apart from God), and imagining that things that are real are not there, are all examples of what lost and/or delusional people do.

Both Lennon and Trudeau were popular and influential in their time. Both had grand visions for a better future, but their visions were not based on reality and ultimate truth.

The broad influence of men like these has caused many to try to imagine a better world but with the same bad results as so many before. When the problem is misdiagnosed, the solutions will almost certainly be misguided and the outcome will not be the one hoped for. We can’t base our ideas on fleeting whims!

As we face a new year, we don’t have to look up at the sky and try to imagine what we would do without God or without our destiny being somehow revealed to us in this way. We can look at the sky and see, as the Psalmist did in Psalm 19, the handiwork of God. We can see it in the snowflakes now, and will be able to see it in all its fullness one day in heaven.

A poet from a earlier era, James Russell Lowell, wrote these words of certainty during his own uncertain times:

“Careless seems the great Avenger; history’s pages but record
One death-grapple in the darkness ‘twixt old systems and the Word;
Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,—
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.”

Truth is certainly “on the scaffold” in our own time, and it can be easy to forget that God is still present, keeping watch over each of us.

We can know the truth through God’s Word and, with that truth in our hearts, we can enter this year with confidence!

Above us there are things that we cannot understand, injustices that we cannot immediately resolve, and governments that are corrupt—but above those things there is a God who knows all things, who has all things in control, and who looks after us and loves us. With that reminder, let us set out and take on the challenges that God is giving us for 2018 with energy and courage!

From CHP Canada, I wish you a blessed new year.



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