Best of times, worst of times


Charles Dickens penned those words when he wrote A Tale of Two Cities 150 years ago. Attending some church services and reading the news recently clicked on my thoughts of English literature. The events of the past couple of weeks truly reflect the best of times and the worst of times.

It’s Christmastime, and the festivities and the religious meaning of Christmas make for the best of times. Ivy and I went to Kenny Christian Church for its Christmas Cantata. The service was inspiring and the church was packed.

The choir completely filled the small stage. There was literally no room for movement by the ladies on the front row of the choir. Take a step forward and off the stage you’d go. Oh well, I did allow my sinful nature to make mental bets about someone stepping off that stage. The program was meaningful and inspirational even if my mind did wander.

Next we went to Texas Christian Church for Christmas Eve services. There is no better setting for a Christmas Eve service than an old frame church surrounded by farm ground covered with snow. The setting was pristine and the service was meaningful.

Lastly, we went to Lane Christian Church for Christmas morning services.  The church was friendly and with coffee and pastries in the foyer life was good for the old fat boy. Top that with a very good service and life was even better.

All three church services reflected the best of times. We have a God that we can worship. This nation affords us the opportunity to worship freely and in the manner that we choose. The Christmas season and the religious freedoms that we enjoy simply make this the best of times.

Unfortunately, there is a trend occurring that portends the worst of times.  Our nation’s power grid is aging, and it is not well protected. Vandalism to power substations occurred in the Carolinas and in Washington state and Oregon in the past two weeks. These acts of vandalism, if not domestic terrorism, should be of grave concern to this country.

Americans are very trusting, and for years we have given very little attention to the security concerns of our power grid. This nation was just hit with a terrible cold spell over the Christmas season. Add to that not having electrical power and the situation can turn very deadly.

The cold has killed over 50 people just by itself. What would that number be if there had been a concerted effort to attack the power grid? We as a nation are at risk of waking up to no lights and no heat. That should be a concern for our government officials.

Let us enjoy the best of times at this Christmas season, but we need to be vigilant that the worst of times doesn’t gain a foothold.

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