Steve Maltz on looking in the wrong places for hope and meaning.
Let's not be under any illusion, there is currently a battle being fought over hearts and minds and it's messy, with victims falling daily by the wayside, particularly those identifying as "Generation Z", those born in the current century.
They may be the most connected generation ever, but how beneficial is this connectivity, when recent statistics indicate that they are seeking treatment for anxiety, low self-esteem, depression and self-harm in greater numbers than any previous generation!
The battle is ultimately a spiritual one, though most don't realise this. We all have an inbuilt need to connect but, rather than endless hours spent on social media, the connection our souls strive for are connections with the divine.
We yearn for hope and meaning, yet we look in all of the wrong places.
Celebrities can't offer us assurance and, sadly, with the nonsense surrounding the Brexit issue, we are the first generation to see through the cracks in our political system and realise that those who 'lead' us are more flawed then we could ever have realised.
Where is our hope in a world where the boffins and bearded activists assure us of imminent climate-instigated Armageddon, where the media is tied up into knots over identity politics and our politicians sacrifice any intention of putting the country first at the altar of party politics and following the directions of whatever 'tribe' they belong to?
We are currently being poorly served and it is time that we ignore the games being played and appeal directly to our Maker, who, whatever we may be led to believe, is actually totally in control. If He is in control, then why doesn't He sort out the mess?
Well, currently, I believe He is leaving us to our own devices to prove how incapable we are in running our lives, and our country. It's show and tell in action; He first shows us our futility and then tells us His ways. And what are His ways? This is the surprisingly easy bit. It's there, in His book, the Bible, as it has always been.
Unfortunately, Christianity is mainly untried these days, consigned to the rejection pile of historical ideas at odds with the 'progressive' trajectory of our current society.
We only need to look at the much-maligned Ten Commandments, that served previous generations very well and are foundational to our current legal system. Here are ten absolute statements that may jar with our modern society, but this doesn't make them any less true. We are told not to worship other "gods" or create idols. We do this, with our celebrities, and where does it get us really?
We are called to honour our parents, not to see them as burdens as they enter their twilight years. We are told not to murder, commit adultery or steal, all held rather loosely within our current cultural mindset. As for false witness and coveting, sometimes it seems that these have actually become the main drivers of society, rather than things to avoid.
We truly are in a mess. But rather than 'carrying on and make do', we are all capable of realigning our lives, even if we go against the grain.
Perhaps it is time for a re-evaluation?The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
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