Mark Barton bludgeoned his wife and two children to death with a hammer. He then went on a shooting rampage in Atlanta that made him that citys worst-ever mass murderer. Nine people were dead and thirteen wounded before he killed himself as police officers surrounded his vehicle and closed in to arrest him.
Barton is reported to have lost $105,000 in the stock market between June 9 and July 27, and the people he shot were at day-trading brokerage firms. Yet it seems fairly clear that the motive behind all the carnage was much deeper than financial. Mark Barton to use his own words had been dying for a long time. He had become so afraid, so terrified and had come to hate this life.
The most telling line in a letter found in his familys living room is this: I have come to have no hope. With all hope gone, Barton was paranoid and thought the world was against him. The final line in his letter declared his intention to kill as many of the people that greedily sought my destruction as he could before dying himself.
Human beings must have hope to survive. It is as necessary to the soul as air to the body. When hope vanishes, people do bizarre and destructive things. They abandon families, loot companies, open fire in public places, or commit suicide.
Human beings must have hope to survive.|
Your brilliance, success, and money arent enough. Neither are good looks, new house, and luxury car. All of them can be lost in a moment. Even relationships with other human beings cant ground your ability to cope with life. People have been known to abandon their friends and break promises to their mates and children.
Its like the kid playing left field in the first game of baseball season. Someone arriving late leaned across the fence and asked how the game was going. Great! the smiling player said. Were behind 17-0.
The concerned newcomer asked if the kids team was just going to give up and admit defeat. We aint beat! came the reply. We havent been to bat yet.
No matter what is going on in your life today, God is still God. He is still on his throne. He is still sovereign over the vast universe he created and all its resources. So long as you keep faith with him, you arent beaten and cant be.
From Rubel Shelly's "FAX of Life" printed each Tuesday. See http://www.faithmatters.com for previous issues of the "FAX of Life."