Y2K Phobia (1999)

Bishop Seraphim : Article
Y2K Phobia
[Published in the “Canadian Orthodox Messenger”, Summer 1999]

All over the western world, people are strangely afraid as we come to the end of this century and millennium. It was like this a thousand years ago, and it is often the case at the change of a century. However, now, because we are technologically complex, and because we seem to be enslaved to our computers, the possibility of computer failures and of our being deprived of our comforts and so-called security, is releasing a most interesting wave of fear.

Chicken Little comes to mind as people almost shriek in fear about what might happen or what is, in their opinion, bound to happen. Money-makers feed the fear and feed on it, a perfect opportunity. To top it off, the war in the Balkans multiplies fears. The fear is good for business. Bank and utility failures are very bad for business. Because we are really like sheep, because we are not properly vigilant over our hearts and minds, we, like the old trout, simply rise to the bait.

What do we Christians have to do with fear ? The Apostle John tells us that perfect love casts out all fear (see 1 John 4:18).

That is indeed what we see everywhere in the Gospels. Wherever our Saviour is, people are set free from fear. Fear is a weapon of the devil ; it is a face of evil. It is not our part as Christians to be willingly embracing this darkness. Let us rather put our whole lives into the Saviour’s hands. He is the Giver of life. He is the Giver of Eternal Life. In Him, it does not matter what happens, what inconveniences occur. He sees us through and makes good come out of it all.

So it is with the change of a century and the coming of a new millennium. In fact, the Apostle Paul, in his writing to the Thessalonians, exhorted them not to sit idle, waiting for the end of things. They were to live their daily lives (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12). Let us also simply keep our eyes where they belong : on Christ. Life is full of difficulties and dangers. Let us just keep our eyes where they belong. Whatever happens, we will be in Him who is our only hope, the only One who is true, the only One who is truly faithful to us. All will be well in the end.