News from the Tennessee Valley Religion

Bishop Barry Strong

How to mend a torn world

We look at the world every day, and it's easy to be pessimistic. Thousands of soldiers have died fighting in Iraq. If that isn't enough bad news, look at the Gulf Coast and the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Many families suffered loss and displacement.

Then we can look at the epidemic of drug abuse — crack cocaine, marijuana, crystal meth and alcohol are a few. We check out the news and realize how real the threat of terrorism is. We hear about the many problems our world faces, like global warming, bird flu and economic troubles.

I've pondered many times: How do we fix the world?

There was a man at home alone with his 4-year-old son. As the man worked on his computer assignment, the boy continued to distract him. The father pondered what to do to keep the boy busy awhile. He decided to take a map of the world and cut it up and have Junior put it back together again.

"Surely that will buy me at least a couple of hours to finish my work," he thought.

The father gave the task to his son. About five minutes later, the boy brought the map to his dad, taped together in one piece. The father was amazed.

"How did you fix something so complicated with such ease?" he asked.

Junior chuckled and said, "See, Dad, on the back of this map is a man. All I did was put the man back together, and when I did, I put the world together, too."

Maybe we can't put a torn world back together. But if we work on ourselves and put ourselves back together, maybe our world will come together, too.

Bishop Barry Strong, pastor of St. Andrew Church in Decatur, is one of several local ministers writing religion columns for THE DAILY. For more information, call Melanie Smith on Tuesdays or Wednesdays at 340-2468.

Bishop Barry Strong Bishop Barry Strong

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