The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Curtis Shelburne
Religion columnist 

Faith: Keeping in mind the times I've 'reaped the whirlwind'


Last updated 9/15/2020 at 3:53pm

Some wrecks you simply cannot see coming; others, well, it’s almost criminal negligence not to see them heading your way. The latter can and should be avoided.

If you are busy minding your own business as a good citizen when you are suddenly dispatched (tragically, for sure) by falling space junk, or perhaps by a less flashy but nonetheless spectacular, garden-variety meteorite, I don’t see how anyone could rationally criticize you for not seeing the danger coming.

Of course, we’re so incredibly enlightened now that we can’t criticize anyone for anything. If we’re nailed on the noggin and nullified by a statue we’re busy pulling down, say, of a Confederate general or Mother Theresa (ours is not to reason why), and we are not city workers doing our job after a legal city council vote or city-wide “Does This Statue Offend Us?” referendum ...

If we’re just short of other things to do, enjoy a good protest or riot, are full of ourselves and our victim-hood (whatever the issue and whatever our color, economic class, intelligence or lack thereof), and relish mayhem, and the statue we’re destroying accidentally destroys us, I don’t know that we’d have a lot to complain about.

Vandalizing public property carries with it inherent risks that should not surprise us. Once upon a time, one of those risks was being arrested.

Some problems can’t be avoided, but others? Is it really necessary to light a cigarette while filling a gasoline can? Or why not just get out of the way of the speeding train? You saw it coming, right? Loud whistle. Bright light. In the name of all that still makes sense in this crazy world, why did you stand there and wait for its kiss — and then expect others to clean up and mourn the mess as being unpredictable?

And now, in the midst of an already crazy time comes Election Day rumbling down the track. If you’d be ecstatic over the choice between a proctological exam or a root canal, you’ll love this one.

Even more lovely is the serious possibility that it will be Election Month (or worse).

In a recent issue of “The Wall Street Journal,” Daniel Henninger writes that looking ahead at the coming election is like sitting in a boat about to plunge over Niagara Falls: any fool can see trouble coming.

He’s specifically talking about the mail-in ballots. Fraud possibilities aside (which seem real to me), he’s talking about the widely varying state to state post-marking, acceptance, and verification rules for mail-in ballots. WSJ polling, he says, suggests that 66% of Trump voters plan to vote in person, and 75% of Biden voters say they’ll vote by mail. Interesting. But it means, basically, “parallel elections for the same office.”

Before I get too haughty, perhaps I should recall how many times I’ve ignored my Father’s clear warnings and wise counsel, been utterly foolish or rebelliously disobedient, “sowed the wind” and “reaped the whirlwind.” Yes, and then acted surprised by the wreck.

Curtis Shelburne writes about faith for The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact him at

[email protected]


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