The 1990s, USA. A group of military honchos, along with defense contractors and engineers, gather in a remote field to watch a demonstration of the latest, and most sophisticated hand-held surface-to-air missile, a general’s dream of death and destruction. The bleachers are assembled, and next to them a plastic port-a-potty sits. The device is brought out and, in the air over the field, a whining unmanned helicopter, the intended target, flies by. The idea, of course, is that the surface-to-air missile will annihilate the chopper, and the awed military poohbahs will buy hundreds, if not thousands of the mini missiles for their arsenals. The device is fired, streaming into the wild-blue-yonder, when it makes a less-than-propitious turn and, homing in on the port-a-potty fan (instead of the chopper’s rotors)—blows the empty latrine to smithereens, spraying the spectators with sticky debris.
Though somewhat funny, the story reveals something more sinister: human technology outrunning human ingenuity or control. Or, as Dr. Martin Luther King wrote: “Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”
We are all, Scripture says, sinners. “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10), wrote Paul, quoting the Old Testament. Among us sinners are those whose hands are on the proverbial nuclear button and whatever other destructive technology humanity has devised.
The good news, however, in all this is that though we have the capacity to destroy the world, that’s not how this world is going to end. Instead, Jesus is going to come back, this world as we know it will be over, and “the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him” (Daniel 7:27).
A much better ending than what we, with our various inventions, if left to ourselves, would have produced—that’s for sure.