“This sort of thing reduces my mind to a pulp.
I can faintly resist when a man says that if the earth were a globe, cats would not have four legs;
but when he says that if the earth were a globe, cats would not have five legs I am crushed.”
Not sure where Chesterton was going with the 4 legged vs 5 legged cat thing but
no, this isn’t a post about flat earthers vs round sphere folks.
As far as I’m concerned, the earth is a lovely white and blue-green orb diligently orbiting
around its sun.
Orbiting happily along with it’s fellow 7 or 8 planets,
depending on where you are regarding camp Pluto.
Throw in several moons along with the occasional asteroid…
and it’s a pretty merry little solar system.
So 4 and 5 legged cats aside, what I’m talking about today is something
rather odd..it’s from a conversation I once endured…
and yes, it is odder than the notion 4 vs 5 legged cats.
It was a comment that came from a man who considered himself some sort
of a global authority.
He was a doctor at Emory University and was a most arrogant individual who
I had the distinct displeasure of dining with.
There I sat in a small restaurant, in a small north Georgia town,
back in 2007 for more than over an hour munching on a poor excuse for pasta.
I was listening to a loud pompous man extolling the virtues of how our children
(our two sons who were supposed to be college roommates at the time) who were, in his mind
at the time, a part of the generation who were to be living in this brave new flat world.
If he said flat earth once, he said it a thousand times.
At the time, I had to jiggle my head in order to get my eyes from sticking
to the top of my head.
It was that same sense of brain irritation experienced when our school system jumped
on the paradigm shift thinking bandwagon…the word paradigm was the “it” word
for about two years…I felt as if we shifted so much that we actually tied ourselves in knots.
New thinking knots, but knots none the less.
So during this ‘get to know one another’ dinner, this doctor expert went on and on
as he extolled how exciting it was that our sons were to now be a part of this great exciting
It was, however, the underlining of what his grandiose grandstanding actually meant…
it meant that the world was now a place of quick and readily available communication and travel.
Instant communication, instant availability, instant information…
all readily available at the touch of a button or from the hoping on a plane.
Skyping, video conferencing, texting, red-eye flights whisking us from one side of the
world to the next.
In the blink of an eye, we could all be readily and rapidly connected.
We could live in one city while working in another while connecting with a partner
on a global scale all within a matter of moments.
We were now moving about our very round world as easily as we could within our own home.
And that revelation, which was issued 13 years ago, came racing back to my thoughts today
as I pondered this latest illness that is making the global rounds.
I am currently nursing my “jamesitis” —my current 31 flavors of illnesses named for my grandson…
all because I kept him last week while he was sick and in turn, I am now sick with what he had.
A small microcosm of the matter of how what one person has is readily passed to another person.
Our flat world makes it all so quick and easy to pass and to share…
sharing a great deal more than simple information.
We readily share our germs just as we readily share our thoughts, words, hopes, and dreams.
So why do we act so surprised?
Why do we seem so aghast over the fact that this virus is jumping from nation to nation,
all within the blink of an eye, when we readily hopscotch from nation to nation.
Germs spread just as quickly as our fastest speedily mode of transportation.
Our foods, our products, our wants, our desires all crisscross our globe
in the blink of an eye.
FedEx, UPS, the Postal service, DHL…we click, we ship and in turn we receive
So why do we act as if this latest illness is a plague sent by Moses to shake
We have allowed a cousin of the common cold to take our economy to its knees.
Our news media has cast the death knell.
We must don masks, bath in hand sanitizer and put bells around the necks of the infected.
It is certainly not my intention to make light of the seriousness of an illness…
When one is sick, there is nothing worse and it as if nothing exists outside of
However, I do worry about the hype, the misconceptions and the malicious use of an illness
by those who do not have the best interest of the ill at heart.
It would not be the first time that an illness or misfortune was used by some
of the more insidious among us in order to produce some sort of twisted gain
or step up.
A flat world means a more traversed world.
And with a greater means to traverse…we must, therefore, take both the good
and the bad with such desired traversing.
There should be no surprise.
The germs come along, hand in hand with the business deals, the travel dreams
and the long-sought goods of commerce.
Now it’s up to us to cull the panic and equip our moving world with the
means to keep moving.
We must be smart.
We must execute educated caution but we must not give in to the
news lead mania of demise.
Could demise be political gain or ruin?
Could demise be economic gain or ruin?
Could demise be humankind’s gain or ruin?
Despite our desire for flatness, we are still round.
We have our vulnerabilities…for we are just human you know, not gods as we so
wish within our excitement for flatness.
This is not the plague…
But yet is it not exposing an Achilles heel?
Does it not expose our weaknesses or perhaps our strengths?
Does it not reinforce our wants versus our needs?
We are round yet our desire is for flatness…
We must always understand the costs that come with our wants.
We never worry about such until it is nearly too late.
How many more chances will be afforded before we either get it right…or not?
The Spirit and the Bride say,
“Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.”
And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them,
God will add to him the plagues described in this book,
and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy,
God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city,
which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says,
“Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!