“You alone are to be feared. Who can stand before you when you are angry? From heaven you pronounced judgment, and the land feared and was quiet- when you, O God, rose up to judge, to save all the afflicted of the land. Surely your wrath against men brings you praise, and the survivors of your wrath are restrained (Psalm 76:7-10).”
It’s the elephant in the room when you are young. What we tend to ignore when we are in our youth is that the condition doesn’t last forever.
This situation is no more pronounced than in sports. Ken Griffey, Jr. was once considered the best player in baseball. Now 40 (old for a ballplayer), he has been below average for years and an article recently reported that he was snoozing during a game.
Then there is the American football league known as the NFL. Some people think it stands for the National Felons League, as many of its participants are on the police blotter more than they are the stat sheet.
When you’re young, the world is your oyster. You think you can do anything, including, unfortunately, kill and terrorize your fellow man.
For example, Brian Neal Vinas, an average American middle-class kid, joined an Al Qaeda. He even participated in a rocket attack on U.S. soldiers.
Recently, a group of young people saw a diamond ring advertised on the Internet, went to the family home of the man advertising it, and terrorized his family. They shot him dead.
These kids are ignoring another elephant in the room. One day God will bring them into judgment. Solomon warned young people of this:
“Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment (Ecclesiastes 11:9).”
To be fair to our youth, sin is not limited to them. More mature pachyderms are just as culpable. Impending judgment from God is also their elephant in the room.
An elephant in the room is an important and obvious topic which no one wants to discuss. The topic is too uncomfortable.
The first use of this term with this connotation originated with a 1984 book concerning parents. The title of the book “An elephant in the living room: a leader’s guide for helping children of alcoholics.”
There’s a causal chain at work here, another topic which the older people want to ignore. Some older folks never grow up. They become terrible role models for young people, and even lead them into sin.
The sports world again gives us an illustration. Lawrence Taylor, arguably one of the most gifted American football players to ever don a helmet and pads, was recently arrested for a sexual crime. He’s 51.
The elephant in the room is indeed that we will all one day face judgment from God. Those who follow Him will be glad about it, and those who don’t. Well…let’s not talk about it.