Thursday, February 26, 2009


Twelve animals comprise the Chinese zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. 2009 is the year of the Ox. The significance of the Ox is a power sign. Oxen are dependable and possess an innate ability to achieve great things. The Ox is thought to be the sign of prosperity through determination and hard work.

We city dwellers know very little about locusts except what we are told. We see the occasional grasshopper. When environmental conditions are suitable, locusts swarm in the billions and cover hundreds of square miles and within hours strip entire fields of grain or corn. Locusts are edible in some cultures and if a person is desperately hungry. But locusts are chiefly considered a nuisance, a pest because of the incredible crop destruction they can effect.

This Chinese sign of the ox for 2009 is an oddity given the fact that in most of our memories, we have never known a time when the entire world has been involved in such an economic crisis. Prosperity doesn’t appear anywhere on our economic horizon. It appears to me that given the world economic crisis, and even though the Chinese Zodiac doesn’t include this, I believe that 2009 could be viewed as the Year of the Locust.

Within just a few months late in 2008 and in early 2009 stocks have lost ten trillion dollars globally. The economies of developed countries have gone south and foreclosures and bankruptcies and layoffs are all we hear. Everyone is trying to understand it and to deal with it. Recovery and stimulus packages are being thrown at the locusts to stop their advance. But I don’t hear anyone speaking about a link between our locust problems and God Himself. Has it crossed your minds to draw a connection between Almighty God and the global and national crisis? There are numerous disasters that are classified ‘acts of God,’ so why not this reversal of fortune? Have any of you been wondering whether in the economic downturn and our feelings of defenselessness, God is seeking to communicate with us about something more serious than money?

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