What shapes humanity's future?

When we try to look up the path into the future, we may have a hard time seeing beyond some of the problems of the present—pollution, scarce resources, famine, population explosion. Like the tanks of Tiananmen Square, they loom ominously before a hopeful outlook. We ask, "How can any one individual make a difference?" Yet in the face of this scenario, authors John Naisbitt and Patricia Aburdene make a surprising observation: "The wider our horizons and the more powerful our technology, the greater we have come to value the individual." (See Megatrends 2000.)

If we need a metaphor for our contribution to the future, instead of Tiananmen Square we might choose the Biblical prophet Elisha, bringing to safe haven an army sent to destroy him. The Biblical prophets were individuals who made an enormous difference. But their effectiveness wasn't personally based. It was grounded in the power of God.

This power brought about spiritual breakthroughs where human systems had failed. A woman whose resources were almost depleted, whose sons, as a consequence, were about to be taken as indentured servants, came to the prophet Elisha for aid. His spiritual outlook helped her reach beyond the limits of her physical view of resources. As she did, her needs were met. A Syrian military captain was sent to Elisha for a healing of leprosy, and a mother came to him for the restoration to life of her child. In each of these situations, spiritual insight into God's presence and power broke through barriers, and individual healing resulted. Spiritual vision didn't simply show these people the future; it showed them the power of God to shape the present and future.

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Computers, Science, and prayer
February 3, 1992

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