Slip Sliding

Paul Simon wrote a song years ago entitled “Slip Sliding Away.” The familiar lyrics were:         

“Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you're slip sliding away.”

As we are nearing the Earth’s final destination, are we (or am I) "slip sliding away?" As the country walks further away from God’s law and from His word, we certainly can see the result from that slipping. Science in its most basic objective form of seeking truth has certainly died, becoming the platform of philosophical agendas.

Meanwhile, where am I in this unfolding drama? What part am I playing? More importantly, what part should I be playing? At a minimum, we should all be neighbor-lovers. I get that. The world desperately is short on love. And that climate is certainly changing to one of increasing anger and tribalism. Love is counterculture. And it’s needed.

But here’s my dilemma. I am currently reading through The Great Controversy again, and I keep seeing evidence that being loving is important — even critical — but not enough. The word of the Lord must be shared with clarity and energy. People’s salvations are at stake and time is short. And I don’t see the necessary urgency in my life about this. Instead, I’m slip sliding away.

This state of affairs has not come overnight. Do you remember, and this will indicate your age, that toy called “Slip ‘N Slide” by Wham-O? It was invented by Robert Carrier in 1961 when he saw his son slide on wet, painted concrete. Carrier was an upholsterer and made a long strip of Naugahyde, sewed a hose with holes into the length of it and then sold the invention to Wham-O (who used plastic for the strip). The faster you ran, the further you could slide. Using that analogy, the slipping of this nation from where the Lord would want it seems to be speeding up. The current state of television, both of its programming and its commercials, shows how far it has gone. And in my opinion, no amount of politics can cure this.

If we are to be last-day Elijahs and John the Baptists in preparing a world to meet Jesus at His return, do we ever raise our voices like they did? Do we have their Spirit and their focus? In my new state of “semi-retirement” it would be easy to not care or to feel there’s nothing I can do. In fact, my heart tells me to relax. “Let others younger than you tackle these things.” Yup, I think I’m afraid I’m answering my own question. I’ve slipped away from where I should be spiritually. How about you?



Author's note:

In my last article, "Crazy — but Interesting — Hebrew Numbers," I mistakenly translated the Shema of Deut. 6:4 as “Hear, O Israel, the Lord(s) our God(s) are one (echad) Lord(s).” I was showing the use of the plural forms. But I had mixed up the aural form with the written form. Pious Jews do not pronounce the sacred name of Yahweh. Instead, they say “Adonai” for Yahweh when they recite it. Yahweh is in the text (“I AM”) not “Adonai” (literally, Lords plural). Sorry for the confusion! And thank you, Pastor Harvey Steck, for asking about this!


Stan Hudson

North Pacific Union Conference creation ministries director