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The NFL draft and bin Laden security threats

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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Quarterback Andrew Luck from Stanford University, holds up a jersey as he stands with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Indianapolis Colts as the number one overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft in New York, April 26, 2012 (Credit: Reuters/Adam Hunger)

Last night, the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins made official what people had assumed for weeks: Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III would be the first two players selected in the NFL draft.  Fans in Dallas didn’t know the Cowboys would trade up to draft cornerback Morris Claiborne.  Nor do we know how well he’ll play for his new team.  That’s the frustrating thing about the future: you can prepare but you can never be sure.

On a much more somber note, global headlines are warning of a major security surge at airports next week as the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s May 1 death approaches.  Intelligence reports state that al Qaeda is determined to avenge the death of its founder and will focus on aviation targets.  As a result, we can expect enhanced security over the next several days.

I for one am all for the increased scrutiny.  Why?  Because I’ll be on an airplane on May 1.  The future becomes much less speculative when it’s yours.

In a world as unpredictable as this one, I would think people would be drawn to God’s promises regarding time and eternity.  In fact, Time‘s recent cover story, “Heaven Can’t Wait,” states that 85% of Americans believe in heaven.  However, in the next issue the magazine published a letter to the editor which responds to the popularity of heaven: “That’s incredible.  They think of heaven as quiet and peaceful, with no need to do anything.  Sounds pretty dull to me.  What do you do with all of that free time?  And it goes on forever and ever!”

I continue to marvel at the number of people who think if they don’t believe in heaven, it must not exist.  In our relativistic culture it is popular to view all truth as subjective and personal–“your” truth and “my” truth.  How’s that working for us?

Peggy Noonan, Ronald Reagan’s speechwriter and perceptive columnist at The Wall Street Journal, recently published an essay titled “America’s Crisis of Character.” She cites the Secret Service scandal and troops who smilingly posed with the bloody body parts of suicide bombers.  She reminds us of the tourist who was beaten in Baltimore while young people stood around laughing and recording the event on their smartphones to post on YouTube.  And she wonders if these events say something about our culture: “The leveling or deterioration of public behavior has got to be worrying people who have enough years on them to judge with some perspective.  Something seems to be going terribly wrong.  Maybe we have to stop and think about this.”

Maybe we need to stop and pray about it as well.  God’s invitation is still open: “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.  They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness.  For you are their glory and strength, and by your favor you exalt our horn.  Indeed, our shield belongs to the LORD, our king to the Holy One of Israel” (Psalm 89:15-18).

To whom does your shield belong today?