The appearance of a “red moon” last month led to wishes by some for dark forces to be visited upon the world.
Some media reports suggested we were “nearing the end of time” but those studying further learned that the occurrence was one of a number during the past century and, of course, the clocks still continue to tick.
While the fears expressed could hardly have been taken too seriously, they were of a type that can spark thoughts about why many people are often ready to spend some of their possibly precious “last days” worrying about what could be the end of the world rather than taking advantage of the positives which are available. This includes the joy that can be associated with the faith that we may choose to share.
Negative thoughts also can be sparked by viewing coverage of developments which really do happen, including incidents of terror.
What’s called the war on terror began after the tragic attack on the World Trade buildings in New York on 11 September, 2001, and later incidents provoked genuine concerns for overall public safety – especially when potential enemies may be walking among us, as has been demonstrated through more recent local incidents.
Concern stirred by these actions is understandable but the unfortunate history of mankind reveals many examples of situations that arguably sadly have claimed lives and destroyed property but despite enduring those times, many people have demonstrated a determination to make it through some of the very worst of those events.
Survivors of two world wars during the past century obviously carried heavy burdens of fear but they worked hard trying to create a better world which saw their faith develop as a stronger component than appears to be the way for many people today who are concerned about incidents of violence and fear destruction.
Embracing faith, hope and charity – considered to be rather old fashioned by those who use what they call modern judgments – still offer pathways to overcoming difficult passages in our lives.
Faith has been covered through some of the words presented above, while hope remains intertwined with it in our search for better times which may not come about easily but should embrace a positive spirit.
Use of the term charity is often changed instead to the word “love” which is essential to achieving the best from of our lives through care for our families, our friends, our neighbours and workmates, and others with whom we deal.
It also can be applied to the practice of giving and extending love or care to those who are less fortunate than many of the people around us.
These words are not to be taken as blindly ignoring threats that clearly do exist but their broad adoption should improve our outlook on dealing with many fears.
Troubled times can pass, or at least the sources of those troubles may change from world wars to cold wars to acts of terror or to home invasions, but the sources of instant communication to events happening virtually anywhere and at any time can work to heighten our concerns.
That’s what happened regarding the red moon last month. Reading beyond the “doomsday” headlines revealed that such events had taken place at other times and that lunar matters are prone to attracting attention.
The moon exerts its influence on earth’s tides and possibly also on human moods, with the term “lunatic” believed to have been applied originally to those who were disturbed, possibly from looking at that planet associated with providing night light. Farmers long ago also planted their crops by observing phases of the moon.
An eclipse can be responsible for delivering the red or copper coloured moon that was visible last month and will occur again into the future.
Dust, bushfire and volcanic smoke in the atmosphere also produces that colour change when the moon is low in the night sky, meaning that it can happen without signalling an end to the world.
Faith of a kind removed from a religious base is sometimes needed simply to guide us beyond today as was suggested by the late actress, Audrey Hepburn: “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”