I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. (St. Paul on Philippians 3:8)

During the quarantine days of 2020, the city was so quiet that one could easily hear things happening blocks away. Few walked the streets and as night fell there was an eerie silence broken here and there by the solitary barking of some dog. It was a nice time to rest from the usual noise but the price to pay for all that quiet was very steep.

Reading the news, reading the nervousness of the people around me I can see that the world is changing. Once I was in an open field during an earthquake, it was 1961 and we were about 1,000 kilometers from the epicenter. The scariest part of it was the sound coming from the depths of the earth. It sounded as if giant stones were moving as titanic forces rearranged everything underground. My parents, my little sister and I were picnicking near a quiet stream when suddenly everything began to move and everything around us became rubbery, formless, even the creek seemed to move as a solid while bubbling at the same time. I was too small to be scared by the tremors but it scared me to see my parents scared.

Looking at the political and social landscape these days of May of 2023, I have the same sensation. One can sense the fear of the big captains of industry and finance, the powerful politicians, high military officers and people in authority in general. Do they know something that we don’t know yet? This May 24 I will complete eleven years since I left the United States. I left for practical reasons, those were tough times for me. As I see it today, it was a good decision although I miss the familiar things I got used to during my three-decade stay (one thing I miss is the easy access to books and other forms of information).

I hear rumors of enormous changes. I hear talk of an upcoming centralized world government, the collapse of the financial system, the adoption of harsh measures of societal control, the emergence of an all powerful artificial intelligence, etc. Enough changes to make one’s mind dizzy with worries. A great force, a Leviathan of unmeasurable strength seems to be emerging. What we hear in the news is similar to the noises I heard that day when our innocent family picnic ended suddenly.

We survived that day in 1961. Not long after that, one November 22 of 1963 the news of the death of President Kennedy shocked us beyond belief. There was another afternoon of eerie silence and we were dismissed from school early. Some expected a war would follow, perhaps a nuclear war. That never happened but the mood was somber for a long time after that.

Today I believe that the death of JFK was the first tremor caused by forces angling to gain control of the world. If we are to believe Christ’s words “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36; Matthew 16:26) Since then we know the price that must be paid for conquering the world. In a way, the US with its vast economy, mighty military power, and enormous knowledge resources has conquered the world. The price paid for such achievement is quite evident if we look at American society these days. Who was going to say 200 years ago that the nation of  Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman … was going to engage in the evil practices that American society tolerates and even encourages today. In my ignorant opinion, the country is well on its way to forfeit its soul.

History has taught us that countries come and go. Cities thrive and decay. The civilized nation of today becomes the barbarian of tomorrow. Change is the only sure thing when we build on sand. The time is ripe for the US, and for every nation in this world lost in darkness, to seek the sure foundation that Christ offers. It is not too late but act quick if you want to take advantage of this great offer, as they say in the ubiquitous television commercials.

Christ is waiting for a signal from us to intervene and save the day. But we must ask.