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If I were Andy Rooney

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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Andy Rooney walking the streets of New York at age 89 (Credit: Stephenson Brown via Flickr)

I feel as grumpy as Andy Rooney this morning.  As you know, Mr. Rooney is leaving 60 Minutes after 33 years with the news program.  Yesterday the 92-year-old journalist delivered his 1097th and final television essay.

If I were replacing Mr. Rooney today, I might lament the Dallas Cowboys’ historic loss yesterday.  Janet and I were out of town, so I recorded the game.  When we got back Sunday afternoon, we watched every minute of the debacle.  Losing a 24-point lead ties the worst collapse for a home team in NFL history.  As soon as the recording was done, our TV asked if we wanted to erase it.  We couldn’t enter the “yes” command quickly enough.

Or I could criticize the gridlock in Washington that threatens to perpetuate our financial malaise.  The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the “supercommittee,” has just seven weeks to agree on a plan that would reduce deficits by more than a trillion dollars.  Republicans want to cut spending; Democrats want to raise revenues.  Lawmakers seem unable to do what they were elected to do: make laws.

Rather than focus my ire on Washington, I might discuss the European Euro mess.  As I write this essay at 5:56 AM, European shares have already fallen on news that Greece is likely to miss targets to cut its deficit.  Some in Greece believe the latest austerity measures are critical to the nation’s economic future; others say they’re stifling growth.

But unlike the irascible Mr. Rooney, I think the sun will come up later today.  The Cowboys are off next week; when they return, their injured players, some of the best on the team, will be back on the field.  Lawmakers in Washington and Europe are divided, but they’re finally trying to resolve the real issues that underlie the global economic malaise.

Bad news always leads the news.  “If it bleeds it leads” is still Journalism 101.  The Bible tells the story differently.  Our Father loves us and is working right now to redeem our greatest problems for his glory and our good.  Providence is acting in ways we can see and in ways we cannot.  Paul was right: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

Consider this verse from the much-loved hymn, “The Love of God”: Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made; Were every stalk on earth at quill, and every man a scribe by trade, To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry; Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.

Who wrote it?  The verse was found on the wall of a patient’s room in an insane asylum.  If it was true there, is it true in your room this morning?