Monday, February 02, 2009

The New Reality

In conversations with my son Isaac last week, we kept returning to his question "What do you think is going to be the next BIG thing?" We put no restrictions on the answer; either negative or positive, technological or political, cultural or ecological. The I read Thomas Freidman's op ed article in Sunday's NYT's and it hit home. The next big thing is two things: 1. no magic bullet and 2. chronic and systemic loss of trust. It echoed the new realities on the ground that what we are dealing with and living with will not go away with the latest congressional bailout or newest leader. Barak Obama is telling that. Get used to a long road back. How long is long? There is no discernable light at the end of several quarters or even years. But the trust-loss issue hits home harder. Bernie Madoff is the poster child for those we thought we could trust who let us down. As spiritual leaders and pastors, that is the new given reality we must embrace without being turned cynical. Our congregations do not immediately trust us. In fact, their first response is to be suspcious, or at least to suspend judgement until we prove ourselves trustworthy. Take these two Big Things and work them out in your context. What does it look like?


At 5:08 AM , Blogger Brad Boydston said...

Just sounds like a restatement of postmodern thinking 30+ years ago -- there is no single overarching theme to life, therefore there is no magic fix. Technology can't do it -- science can't do it -- religion can't do it -- business can't do it. Trust none of the above.

The problem with modernism is that it has been too simplistic and overly optimistic. Therefore, you can only have a semblance of a real life if you accept this reality. Don't even look for a reason in the absurdity -- just knowingly smile, do what you can, get on with life, and most of all avoid all signs of hope or optimism. Such will only let you down.

The best thing to do in life is to watch the Office every week -- and you'll see that you are surround by a great cloud of cynical witnesses.


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