As I read through Habakkuk this morning, I found myself gasping for some positivity as I continue to work my way though the minor prophets. These fellows were so negative and perhaps rightfully so, as Isreal was headed into captivity and it wasn't looking good for the "people of God".
Fortunately my read comes on the heels of a most encouraging series of meetings yesterday. "Cabin talks" I call them, though yesterday only one actually occurred in our backyard cabin. All were with folk near or under 50.
Spending time with younger folks these days is my best therapy, as older folk more prone to interpret the "writing on the wall" more negatively than I need to hear.
I know, you're thinking that I am no shining star of hope, and yes, I'll admit to my unlikely candidacy for the orchestra that played music while the Titanic was sinking!
I do believe in raw transparency when "cages" need rattling! Hello!
However, there is a place for balanced optimism as so well shared in the link below.* Meeting with younger folk seems to afford that in me, though my Boomer tendencies still betray me at times.
I was once much more positive back when "situational leadership" and the likes were first being promoted. For me it began in the late 80's during my pursuit of a second graduate degree focused on leadership.
As a basically blue collar kid, with a decent background in the sciences, my strategic thinking cap was filled with, and thrilled by the potential for transformation as Blanchard, Covey, Kotter and eventually Collins, all offered a means towards a much needed remedy for our struggling institutions, even back then.
These leadership wizards brought such clarity to the toolbox of leadership and change management, all seemingly timely, so necessary and hopeful across the board, in education, religion, as well as politics.
It now seem however, that corporate capitalism once again has turned these diamonds into private wealth, while society in general misses the point.
Our institutions get by with mimicing the language while languishing further behind.
Those with lesser means, now approaching 90%, feel the most pain. Those of us who care, privileged somehow, whether by bootstraps or generational wealth are now critical to this screaming necessity created by the growing and now unsustainable wealth gap.
One that has so beguiled the masses, that the very politic designed to assure the health and happiness of our republic, now holds our country in peril.
The truth is that we are the change that's needed! We are all change agents, but that change must begin in us.
The beauty of reading the scriptures, to include the prophets is not just for the moments where it seems the Spirit finally breaks through the belabored moaning, as in verses like Habakkuk 3: 17-19 (see below), but the big picture provided, from Genesis through Revelation, a rather seamless story of hope! Habakkuk, in all fairness and in his on way, was addressing the injustices in his then known worldI!
So am I!
Whether you read as a literalist or figuratively, the text constantly pushes humanity through moments of bewilderment, beyond what religion can provide, creating a necessary sense of desperation.
Then almost uninvariably, whether with Daniel in the lions den or Corrie ten Boom in Ravensbrück concentration camp, a spiritual solution is made available, but usually if not always, first in an individual, one who decides to employ their faith, their gifts and skill set Out of that comes ideation and even at times miraculous material resources, again, think of the vitamins shared by Corrie and Betsie!
That kind of promise is what I sensed yesterday in my discussions, all seeded by an ever evolving hope in the next two or three generations!
Transformative movements take time to penetrate generational belief systems. Often even "good men die" in the process, as my friend Brian McLaren shared some 15 years ago!
Until that time I'll risk sharing truth in hope of balance, both in the sacred as well as secular world, if there truly is a difference.
"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, Neither shall fruit be in the vines; The labour of the olive shall fail, And the fields shall yield no meat; The flock shall be cut off from the fold, And there shall be no herd in the stalls:
The LORD God is my strength, And he will make my feet like hinds' feet, And he will make me to walk upon mine high places." Hab. 3:17-19a KJV.