Friday, June 28, 2024

Khrushchev and St. Paul?


If you haven't figured it out yet, I find politics fascinating and frustrating. 

As I am just getting into reading "The Situation Room" by George Stephanopoulos, I came across an interesting quote credited to Nikita Khrushchev (of the Communist Party.)

Before I get to the quote, let me just say this about George's book--it surprised me to learn about the state of the presidency during various administrations and the utter incapacitation of Nixon (for example) during critical times, due to alcohol and self-isolation.

In fact, it came to light later, that at the same time Nixon was struggling, the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev (General Secretary of the Communist Party) was also "out of commission" due to pills and alcohol.

Oh my. 

Anyway, the book, so far, is a detailed account of various presidents and their moments of crisis and how our country dealt with them. Very interesting from both a political and historical perspective.

Back to the quote. Khrushchev is credited with the famous quote:

"In the case of nuclear war, the living will envy the dead."

This brought to mind, St. Paul. Yes, St. Paul, who in Philippians, Chapter 1, Verses 22-26, famously said:

"If I go on living in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. And I do not know which I shall choose. I am caught between the two. I long to depart this life and be with Christ, [for] that is far better. Yet that I remain [in] the flesh is more necessary for your benefit. And this I know with confidence, that I shall remain and continue in the service of all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that your boasting in Christ Jesus may abound on account of me when I come to you again."

Granted, the two men had different reasons for proposing envy of the dead, and even though St. Paul's desire to be with Christ was strong, he knew he was here on earth to fulfill a mission.  

If you want to say that St. Paul envied the dead, you would have to say it was because he looked forward to eternal life.

Even so, he trusted in God and accepted his situation, knowing it would benefit others.  He moved along, confident that one day he would be with the Father in heaven.

Do you know your role in the mission?  Do you, too, share Paul's confident acceptance of it?

Contemplate your purpose, identified by God, and instead of longing for "one day," (whatever your reason), use St. Paul as a model and do whatever you can to benefit others--today.

Janet Cassidy
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