It is difficult to escape anxiety and fear in the modern age. If we focus on the news of the world, Urantia appears forever in a state of chaos, with threats of war, a withering climate, oceans of plastic, corrupt governments, poverty, and racial strife.
We cannot deny the truth of these calamities. But the truth has been greatly exaggerated. Despite all the doom and gloom, Urantia civilization continues to make significant advances. Granted, there has been much suffering along the way and we have a long way to go on the path to perfection, but we should at least recognize and celebrate the many achievements to date.
This positive trend is revealed in the data. A few recent publications on the topic are Factfulness by Hans Rosling (2018), Progress, Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future by Johan Norberg (2016), and Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker (2019). These are far from being spiritual works, in fact, they are decidedly material and secular in their approach. Nonetheless, the facts are there for all to see.
What these publications emphasize is that, in every major category, the world has improved. There has been a significant reduction in poverty worldwide, birth rates are dropping, education for girls is almost universal, deaths from accidents and natural disasters have dropped dramatically, life expectancies have increased worldwide, hunger and starvation is almost eliminated, and infrastructure greatly improved in all countries. The facts and figures clearly demonstrate that a lot has been accomplished, and it’s likely that much credit is due the Most Highs and the seraphim.
The Most Highs rule in the kingdoms of men through many celestial forces and agencies but chiefly through the ministry of seraphim. [Paper 114:0.1, page 1250.1]
The rule of the Most Highs, … is a rule designed to foster the greatest good to the greatest number of all men and for the greatest length of time. [Paper 134:5.4, page 1488.2]
Hans Rosling tests our knowledge with a number of simple quiz questions about the state of the world and finds that, in almost every country, most people get them wrong—they consistently select the most negative answers. There are a number of reasons why we are reluctant to accept the encouraging facts, an ailment he calls “the negativity instinct.”
Chief among the causes is the news media, which should come as no surprise. In a world motivated by profit, there is no money in good news, and the result is a barrage of terrible news, a relentless stream of horror and negativity. It’s no wonder the only future that many can conceive is a terrifying and dysfunctional dystopia.
Anxiety must be abandoned. The disappointments hardest to bear are those which never come. [Paper 48:7.21, page 557.5]
Despite the exaggerated troubles around the world, those of us saved by the truth of The Urantia Book have no such worries about the future of this planet, no matter what happens. Not only do we have the comforting words of our Creator Son, but in our personal spiritual journeys, we have our Thought Adjusters, the Spirit of Truth, and our guardian angels to guide us faithfully along the spirit path. And in the worldly realms, we have the Most Highs, the Melchizedeks, and the master seraphim. These spirit forces work relentlessly to improve civilization on Urantia. And they are having considerable success.
Coupled with our ignorance (or avoidance) of the facts, is our limited viewpoint. It is difficult for us to envision a positive and progressive evolution if we insist on viewing world events from a single lifetime. The truth is revealed in the big picture; the long-term history of events. Recall that before we leave our system capital of Jerusem, we will be “…quite familiar with the history of Satania and its 619 inhabited worlds” [48:6.31]. Clearly, history is important, not just on this planet, but on the worlds to come. It is a factor of cosmic wisdom just as much as personal knowledge, life experiences, and insights are factors of worldly wisdom.
There are many good reasons for students of The Urantia Book to remain positive—to maintain a steadfast faith in the goodness and love of God.
Urantia is now quivering on the very brink of one of its most amazing and enthralling epochs of social readjustment, moral quickening, and spiritual enlightenment. [Paper 195:9:2, page 2082.7]
…mankind is on the march toward higher evolutionary destinies. [Paper 71:8.15, page 807.11]
[Jesus] sought to make it clear that the world is not to be regarded as an enemy; that the circumstances of life constitute a divine dispensation working along with the children of God. [Paper 140:8.3, page 1579.5]
With improved technology, comes increasing exposure to the sufferings and troubles of the world, which is the entire focus of the news media. Therefore, keeping a balanced outlook requires making critical assessments. As Rosling says, “Things can be both better and bad.” We should put progress into perspective by looking at how much has been achieved while not losing sight of what more can be attained.
…be not mindful of those things which foster your anxiety but rather at all times concern yourselves only with doing the will of the Father who is in heaven. [Paper 137:1.6, page 1525.3]
Any portrayal of fear or anxiety on our part is but a reflection of our lack of faith in God’s divine dispensation. It also greatly diminishes any of our personal work to uplift the spiritual experiences of the individual. There will always be great challenges to improve the world and it’s a sad fact that many suffer needlessly in life. We all want to change life on Urantia as best we can, to continue to work toward an age of light and life. But in God’s great scheme of things, we must trust Jesus—there is nothing to worry about.
What he [Jesus] preached against was not forethought but anxiety, worry. [Paper 140:8.3, page 1579.5]