I’m beginning to feel a little like Ted. Not Cruz mind you, or even Nugent, but like a young reporter who was thrust into an assignment he hadn’t planned on when a national crisis erupted four decades ago. For the capture of 52 Americans by Iran in November of 1979 (long before 24 hour cable news) stunned the nation and left it anxious to hear its resolution.
And so began what was first called “The Iran Crisis: America Held Hostage” which started with a late-night countdown airing after the evening news of how many days the crisis had gone on (“Day 15”… “Day 50”… “Day 150”…etc.) And when Ted Koppel became its face, the show soon found a new name as well, Nightline. What no one expected, however, was just how long the crisis or the program would actually last. For the Americans in Iran were held hostage for 444 days, leaving Ted to come up with something new to say every night, whether there was any real news to report or not.
Even after the hostages returned, however, Ted Koppel went on to host the program for another twenty-five years. And a few weeks ago, on the fortieth anniversary of Nightline, in fact, Koppel, now 80 years old, made a guest appearance to discuss how he and his wife had been coping with the coronavirus pandemic, particularly in the light of her chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
So why am I telling you all of this? It’s simply to remind us that sometimes the events of our lives outlast our expectations of them. For living in an instant society, we’ve come to demand quick resolutions of whatever problems we may have. But as I mentioned in my sermon on Sunday, “God doesn’t settle all of His accounts in October.” Rather, He moves according to His own timeline but always in a way that He knows is best for us. For even though the virus was not sent by the Lord, what do those familiar old words of Romans 8.28 remind us? “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
And so, here we are and it looks like we’ve still got a way to go until some semblance of the familiar returns to all of our lives. Though I hadn’t really planned on doing it quite this long, thus, I’ll keep on writing if you want to keep on reading. Keep praying, as well. And washing your hands. And following the guidelines, even if you do feel a little like a hostage yourself. And together, we’ll make another week… and then see.
After all, if Ted could do it.. to say nothing of those 52 American hostages and their families, along with countless others whose lives have been upended by war, conflict, famine, and other disasters over the years… why can’t we?