Sunday, November 16, 2008

We Want To See

When the Red Sox won in 2004, there were lots of heartwarming stories about sweet old guys who had been fans for years and finally got to see a championship. But the usual number of Sox fans died in the previous year - even the previous week - and never saw it.

The common feeling of older African-Americans right after this election is more relief and calm than joy, I am told. A line being crossed, a page being turned. There have been news stories about elderly blacks and how pleased they are to see this day. But the usual number of African-Americans died last year and never saw it.

I met a lot of Romanian Christians who had been persecuted under Ceausescu who lived to see the day of freedom to worship that they had long prayed for. But there were Christians throughout the 1980's who died having prayed their whole lives and not seen. That should be a salutary lesson to Christians who secretly believe that God is going to make all stories in your life tie up neatly before you die.

I don't think Christians are any more susceptible to that narrative fallacy, I think pretty much everyone does it. It's in our nature.

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