Ra’s Al Ghul: Gotham’s time has come. Like Constantinople or Rome before it the city has become a breeding ground for suffering and injustice. It is beyond saving and must be allowed to die. This is the most important function of the League of Shadows. It is one we’ve performed for centuries. Gotham… must be destroyed.
Bruce Wayne: You attacked Gotham before?
Ra’s al Ghul: Of course. Over the ages, our weapons have grown more sophisticated. With Gotham, we tried a new one: Economics. But we underestimated certain of Gotham’s citizens… such as your parents. Gunned down by one of the very people they were trying to help. Create enough hunger and everyone becomes a criminal. Their deaths galvanized the city into saving itself… and Gotham has limped on ever since. We are back to finish the job. And this time no misguided idealists will get in the way. Like your father, you lack the courage to do all that is necessary. If someone stands in the way of true justice… you simply walk up behind them and stab them in the heart.
I was thinking recently about America’s current economic situation, and I remembered back to the above conversation from Batman Begins. Ra’s al Ghul has once again launched an attack on civilization, this time using economics to reduce society to ruin. Granted, it is fiction, and I do not intend to draw any direct parallels between the movie and the spiritual realm, BUT, I have been thinking a lot about how people are reacting to economic upheaval.
Some would say that irresponsible banks created this mess. Others say that an irresponsible public made the mess. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. You see, we have been given an amazing opportunity! We have been given a precious gift-a second chance, if you will.
America was barrelling toward unprecedented consumption and greed, and we were boasting in our affluence. Everyday life was full of the pursuit of bigger and better. And, as history confirms, these are the times that God’s people become most stagnant, gluttonous, and backslidden. We have been given the opportunity to turn from our pursuit of wealth, back to the pursuit of God. After all, He did warn us that we cannot serve God and money! (Matthew 6:24) God has given us a wake-up call and a gentle option for returning to Him. “Gentle?” you may ask. True, we have all been hit hard by the economy. But, in His mercy, we are not being marched off to captivity like His children experienced in former times! Yes, He has been quite gentle indeed, given the records of history. So, what is this great opportunity all about?
God has given His children the assurance that times of trials and strife are not a waste, but rather, a perfect opportunity to be emptied of all the trappings of life and return back to basics, which are all about being with the Father and worshiping Him. In fact, Romans 5 talks about this very thing.
“…we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that trubulation brings about perseverance, and perseverance, proven character, and broven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, becasue the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spitit who was given to us.” Romans 5: 4,5
No doubt, the tribulations mentioned here were more likely life and death related, compared to our financial woes. Regardless, the outcome is hope, and as they say, hope is a symptom of faith. Do I know what I am talking about? Am I just some disconnected philosopher, looking at humanity through a scholarly lense? No, I am a small business owner, and this week I suffered yet another perceived setback. I say “perceived” setback, because I immediately had to go to my Father of Lights and talk with Him about these trials. And, not surprisingly, I was able to walk away from a few precious moments with Him with a completely different perspective on the situation. What I was seeing as a negative, He was revealing as a positive.
How are you looking at circumstances? Is your hope in the almighty dollar, or the Almighty God? Are you still looking for financial rescue, or are you worshiping the God who rescued your soul from damnation? These trying times certainly can put things into proper perspective, if we allow it.