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Predictions and Resolutions

When I was a child there was a famous psychic and astrologer named Jeane Dixon.  In fact, she was perhaps the most well-known psychic of the twentieth century and was often called the “psychic to the White House.”  She died in 1997 at the age of 93.


As a child, Mrs. Dixon was given a crystal ball by a gypsy fortune-teller who claimed to recognize in her the gift of divination.  By the age of 14, Jeane Dixon was predicting the future of Hollywood stars.  For over 30 years she wrote a syndicated astrology column that was carried by nearly 400 newspapers, with millions of readers.


Each January, a large wave of predictions would be revealed that were on the cover of many magazines.  Mrs. Dixon became famous for correctly predicting many major events.  Some were accurate and drew her great acclaim.  Others were not, but people seemed to disregard those. 


She seemed to have an uncanny ability to correctly predict events regarding United States presidents, political events, and affairs in foreign countries.  She correctly predicted the death of President Franklin Roosevelt, the defeat of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his subsequent return to power at a later time.  She gained worldwide fame after predicting the election and assassination of President Kennedy. 


Mrs. Dixon also predicted that China would be taken over by communists after WWII, and the republic regime that currently reigned would be exiled to Taiwan.  She told the then current President Roosevelt that the United States would enter military conflicts with the Soviet Union, and eventually America’s greatest threats would be Russia and China.


Her fame grew even greater as she correctly predicted the plane crash of the UN Secretary, the launch of the Sputnik satellite, and the failed presidential bid of Robert Kennedy due to a “tragedy” that would occur in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles where he was later assassinated.


With all these predictions, who could blame the American public (and the world) for being sucked in.  Some researchers, however, became skeptical.  They tracked the predictions of Mrs. Dixon over a four-year period.  Out of the 364 public predictions she made, only 4 came true.  That is a success rate of 1.1%.  Or perhaps you prefer to look at it as an error rate of 98.9%.  Most of us could probably hit a 1% success rate by guessing. 


Some of her more famous predictions that did not come true were:

·       World War III would begin in 1958.

·       The Soviets would beat the U.S. to the moon.

·       There would be a cure for cancer by 1967.

·       She advised President Nixon there would be a terrorist attack on the White House, causing him to order special precautions.

·       Another holocaust would occur in the 1980’s.

·       Rome would rise again and become the world’s foremost center of culture, learning, and religion, and there would be peace on earth by the year 2000.


Sometimes, as we face a new year, it is easy to see the world as an unmitigated disaster.  But there are still those of us who see it as an opportunity to share the marvelous, scandalous grace of God.  Many see a tired, often fabricated religion.  But some of us see a relationship with a God who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and intensely loves us. 


As I was thinking about the 1.1% correct prediction rate of Jeane Dixon, I was drawn to contrast it with the over 300 predictions in Scripture about the birth, life, and death of Jesus that were recorded as many as 1500 years before Jesus was even born by forty different authors.  All of these proved to be 100% accurate.  Many were incredibly detailed.

·       Jesus would be born in Bethlehem.

·       He would be born to a virgin from the tribe of Judah.

·       He would be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David.

·       He would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey.

·       He would be betrayed for 30 pieces (not 40 or 35) of silver (not gold).

·       His hands and feet would be pierced.

·       He would be crucified with thieves.  This was written before crucifixion was invented.

·       No bones would be broken in his death.

·       He would be buried in a rich man’s tomb.

·       He would rise from the dead.


What is even more fascinating about all these Biblical predictions is that they were made by prophets, and the penalty in those days for giving a false prediction death by stoning.  That would probably have made Jeane Dixon think twice before making a prediction! 


The religious leaders at the time of Jesus birth and life were highly trained experts who had memorized large portions of the Old Testament, especially those about the coming Messiah.  They knew all the prophecies.  But somehow, they missed the person.  They knew religion but missed the relationship with the person standing right in front of them.  They knew the rules, regulations, traditions, and the system.  But they missed the grace, mercy, and love of the person who fulfilled those prophecies. 


As we embark on a new year, let us embrace the person we celebrated at Christmas and what he stands for.  Instead of resolutions for the new year, may we determine to live out the principles he taught us as we play in this adventure called life.  Even as we vow to do better, let us remember that even as we feel sorrow for our past failures, if it does not change our present behavior, it violates the moral sincerity of our very hearts. 


As we move forward, I wish for all of us greater amounts of patience, thankfulness, humility, self-control, perseverance, courage, and the desire to learn as we draw closer to God.  Only God knows the future.  But the good news is that He has plans for good, not disaster…plans to give us hope and a future.  (Jeremiah 29:11)


Do I trust Him?  That is the million-dollar question!  Prolific author, Bruce Wilkerson, as a young man asked his mentor, Dr. Mitchell, to teach him the Bible.  “Will you?”, he asked.  “No, I won’t,” was the reply.  “I’ll tell you what I will do.  I’ll meet with you week after week, and I’ll help you fall more in love with Jesus, because if you’ll fall more in love with Jesus, everything else will take care of itself.” 


Happy New Year!

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Anne Hope is the award-winning author of Bent Pages...a sharp, funny, and deeply inspirational narrative.

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