By Ron Hutchcraft

Lately, the world seems to be continually changing. War. Inflation. Pandemic. Economy. Nuclear. Future uncertainty. As followers of Jesus, how should we respond? How can we be like the men of Issachar, "who understood the times and knew what (they) should do?" (1 Chronicles 12:32) Here are six bold steps to navigate uncertain times.

A little girl's father was the captain of an ocean liner that sailed between London and New York. On one voyage across the north Atlantic, a major storm surprised him and was really blowing that ship around. Everyone was asleep in their cabins, including the captain's daughter and mother. They were sleeping, until the ship really pitched and the girl was thrown out of her bed. Her mother said, "Are you okay?" And she said, "Yes, I'm okay." Her mom asked, "Are you afraid?" To which the girl asked, "Is daddy still on deck?" And mom said, "Yes, he is. He's the captain." The girl said, "Then I'm going back to bed. I'm okay. Because daddy's still on deck."

It's a strange combination.

The week we've been told there will be so much pandemic dying that it will be "this generation's Pearl Harbor."

And then there's Easter. Definitely a unique, "no frills" Easter to be sure. But Easter. The high point of the year for Christians.

I've discovered there are actually two Manhattans. One, the madness and mayhem on the street. Two, the breathtaking view from the top of a Manhattan skyscraper. One just stresses you out. The other "peaces" you out. The perspective from that observation deck is a whole other vibe!

North Dakota's a long way from Wuhan, China. But our friend Wes has been seeing more and more customers wearing masks in the local Walmart. He says he's going to start telling them "to calm down." Thinking of how fear can spook the stock market, he commented, "Then I'm going to thank them for destroying my 401(k)."

Lots of commencement speeches this time of year. Most of them, pretty predictable. "Live up to your potential." "Follow your dreams." "The sky's the limit."

But there has never been a commencement speech like the one at Morehouse College this year. Billionaire businessman Robert Smith set 396 graduates free in one day.

Zero visibility. And I was driving in it.

All I could think of was those disturbing images of 50 vehicles smooshed in some fog-caused pileup. Thankfully, I made it. But it is scary driving when you have no idea what's ahead.

Which pretty much describes how a lot of folks feel about the times we're living in right now. As Bob Dylan said - "the times, they are a changing." We're just not sure where the road's going.

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The streets of Manhattan get pretty crazy. You're bullied by buses, taxis and surging pedestrians. And unhinged by honking horns, screaming sirens, rushing people. Awful, many say.

And then there's the view from the Freedom Tower. Awesome, many say. Above the mess and stress. Amazed by a whole new perspective, a breathtaking view of the island, the harbor, the city.

She must have been scared to death. She wasn’t a public speaker. But that day she’d agreed to speak to 70,000 people in a football stadium in the Northwest. It was the last day of Billy Graham’s Crusade in her city and he had asked her to read a letter she’d received from her son. It was the end of the first Gulf War, and the troops were coming home; except for a relatively few American soldiers who weren’t coming home. Her son was one of them. He died in a helicopter crash on the last day of the war.

I watched on the news as a city became a ghost town. Nearly 100,000 people fled Fort McMurray, Alberta, running a gauntlet of flames all around them.

Firefighters called the wildfire that engulfed the city "a beast." Residents turned refugees called it "apocalyptic" and "hell on earth."

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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