Facing the facts


By Vernon E. Hurles - Religion Columnist



We all hate to face unpleasant facts. But some facts still remain, whether we face them or not. Refusal to think about them or to be guided by them does not change them or deactivate their effect. They are still there staring us in the face, whether we stare them in the face or not.

In days gone by we were told that told that ostriches stick their heads in the sand, thinking that their bodies cannot be seen is false. It may be—— but there are lots of people who refuse to look at facts and suppose that facts do not look at them. We turn our heads, but do not turn the truth. It still stands, whether we face it or not.

A “fool’s paradise” is where one acts like an idiot in a false environment, wishing for an unmerited happiness.

Dr. Russell V. Delong shares with us four facts we hate to face.

The first is the irreversible fact that we are growing older.

Time runs in only one direction. People search for the elixir of youth. Some have tried the transplantation of monkey glands to restore adolescent vitality. Others try vitamin pills, mineral baths, and beauty parlors. Some think that if they look young; they will be young. But down under the youthful look there is the aged ache and aging limp. Some try to act young, and merely give an awkward and disappointing performance.

Nothing s more disgusting then to see a 50-year-old-has-been trying to be a 20-year-old Romeo.

We hate to face the fact: we are growing old and no longer young. But the worst is we are getting older and cannot become younger.

Childhood once, youth once, middle age once, old age once—-and in that order. A wise admonition then is, be your age.

The second disconcerting fact is that we reap what we sow.

Down through life, as we grow older, we plant seeds every day. Every act has its potential. We reap in kind qualitatively but we reap in multitudes quantitatively. A few grains of wheat produce a wheat harvest; they never produce corn—-always wheat. We can’t plant weeds and reap fruit, and we cannot plant thistles and gather roses. We reap what we sow.

So remember, we cannot sow evil, sinful acts and reap a righteous happy soul. Neither can we plant good, upright, honest righteous seed and reap a bad, dishonest, unrighteous crop.

As we become older we become reapers. Old age becomes a good crop or a bad one. What one harvests in old age depends on what one has sown in young age. Wishing and hoping and regretting and even repenting cannot change the crop. So in youth one says, Be careful what you sow, for the same must be reaped and multiplied.

The third fact we hate to face is one day we must die.

This is the most certain fact of life. Someone has said, “We cannot escape death or taxes.” Well, we might do something about taxes; we can make them lower or higher. But we cannot do anything about death. It is out of our control. Our vote, our money, our influence, or our position has no effect on death. Everyone, no matter how much they are needed, loved or despised will have to answer the summons of death. We don’t like to think about it. It is a fearful scary, horrible fact. But we must face it. And the moral is, Prepare your life to be ready to meet your death.

The fourth and final fact we hate to face is the Judgment.

St Paul exhorted (Hebrews 9:27), “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

We have two inescapable appointments——death and the judgment. Our engagement book may be filled—-and we may have failed to list death and the judgment. The omission in our book is meaningless; we are in the book—-our name is there and one day it will be called. We have an appointment with death and the judgment and meet them we must.

Death, we know, is sure. What about the Judgment? If life is meaningless, if the universe is non-moral, then death is the end. But if there is a God, if the universe is just, if we are immortal, a judgment is a rational demand. Unless a Hitler or Capone is to receive the same reward as a St. Paul or my mother, there must be a day of judgment. If there is not the world is a mad house.

God is rational and just and good. He will see that the scales of justice are finally balanced. Everyone will ultimately stand before the judgment bar of God to hear Him make one of two pronouncements: either, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” or, ‘Depart thou wicked and slothful servant, into outer darkness, where there are weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

The moral of Fact Number Four is—-“Prepare to meet thy God.”

Yes, we all hate to face these four disturbing facts. But we must face them. Therefore let us meet them honestly, so that we may;

Grow old happily;

Reap a good harvest because we have sown good seed;

Face death fearlessly because we trust Christ completely;

Stand at the Judgment confidently because we have lived righteously.

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By Vernon E. Hurles

Religion Columnist

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