“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” I Peter 5:8
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
Listening to the news today, I was taken back to 2012 when I felt I was too close to danger. North Korea has announced that it will launch a satellite into space sometime this month and as a consequence has its neighbours scampering and threatening.
It is an interesting thing, the way many South Koreans go about the North Korea business. The trouble with the two countries has been there for so long that it sometimes fades into the background. They don’t “think” about it anymore. At least, that is what I was told by my Korean friends who asked me whether I felt worried about the whole North Korea rocket launch and threats from the closed paranoid land ruled by a then 29 year old. My friends told me not to worry, that it was normal. And that no one really listens to them anymore since the North Koreans have nothing better to do.
But then, I wondered, was it all really in the background? I mean, South Korea is a country where all males, ALL of them, have to give 2 years of their lives in military service to their country. And it does not end there. One evening I saw four big limousine buses off-load university students in military camouflage uniforms, all looking tired and bedraggled, trudging their way to the nearest Family Mart for a smoke and beer after a long day of training. One of the boys in my class told me later that he had been part of that crowd. The next day, it was the turn of the boys in my second Geography class- 7 of them- to have a “refresher course”. This military training slash boot camp is mandatory for all boys in the university. So then again, I asked myself, is the North Korea matter really in the shadows, seeing what these poor boys have to do for their country? But after mulling on this for a bit, I thought it made sense: Live your life, but don’t be caught off guard when it comes to a paranoid case like North Korea where all their money goes into the military while people starve to death. Live your life, but be prepared. You can’t predict an armed adversary.
In my Christian walk, I tend to see the devil in that light (odd choice of words). He is my great adversary, my enemy, our accuser. Yes, he exists and I have to be on my guard because he is like a man on the rampage with a death sentence hanging around his neck. But the focus of my life should be living for God. Sometimes the tendency is to give the devil too much attention. There is enough trouble around and Satan would like to divert our attention to him, as we sulk and blame him for our troubles instead of looking up to our Father. Yes, I should be prepared, aware of his schemes but should not go looking for trouble by giving him a foothold. We have the promises of God to preserve us.
So even though times were bumpy, that didn’t stop me from going on a tour of the demilitarized zone to try to understand what the fuss was all about. Because when it’s all said and done, South Korea has powerful allies and its northern neighbor stands to lose much, much more if it indeed launches an attack. How’s that for the balance of power?
by Grace Ecklu