Sometimes I can get linear, then my spirit will circle back, overlaying a parallel thought that's leads to a new aHa!. Not sure what that says about my brain.
Anyway, thought I'd take a break from mowing in the mountains and capture my thoughts, as those thoughts often expand upon dreams or circumstances yet to be understood.
My thoughts sometimes seem prophetic after the fact, though like Micaiah in King Ahab's day, not everyone wants to hear what you have to say.
When I try to restrain my sharing, and I truly do at times, hoping to discern best timing, I hear again, "will you not do this in my Name?" My goal is always to please the Christ, rather than man, for in Him alone do I find rest.
This morning my mind for some reason brought back the pain of watching the blank stare on the face of our elderly Senate Majority Leader, as he froze for the second time on national television, while being asked of all things, if he would seek another term! I feel for him and frankly all our aging leaders, those bitten by the power bug, unable to own their age and step aside.
That same brain freeze stare then gripped me as perhaps allegorical, given where we are as a nation. A nation once admired as a bastion of freedom, a republic well governed, supportive of democracy, known for her American Dream.
For some we were seen as a Christian nation, providentially blessed, a global economic engine, placing "In God we trust" within our Pledge of Allegiance. I want to believe Eisenhower made that move to establish spirtual boundaries for the powerful, though I suspect many saw it as some timely political maneuver moreso than any deep spiritual commitment by the nation as a whole. We have warred over that for decades now.
Back to our brain freeze, should those my age and older ever step aside, few leaders seem to have the courage to speak truth for fear of falling victim to the great partisan divide and the money handlers that control the media.
I am trying my best not to align with my many conspiracy theorist, evangelical friends, but one has to be a fool to believe that the 1% folk aren't working backstage, endeavoring to control electoral outcomes. Seeking only to best protect their global revenue streams. Neither party owns the campaign season any more, but rather the deep pockets who readily vacillate on their values in order to sway the poles per their capiltalistic agenda.
Even good men I have known personally will back things they would never have backed before entering politics. When confronted, the mantra is, "If you aren't elected you can't be the change." Soon they too are bitten by the same power bug!
Meanwhile, a growing and unsustainable wealth gap looms, with fewer and fewer jobs for the underdogs, those inadequately prepared to participate or benefit from our consumer based society.
In our inner cities, crime becomes the only means for survival in our vast concrete jungles. Now even in rural areas we see evidence of our those ever expanding inequities.
Failing family structures, trauma and a growing base of mental illness now burden the public school system, once the backbone of middle class, a middle that has diminished rapidly in my lifetime. Add to that the availability of weapons and you have parents fleeing public schools, if they have the means.
I was raised by rural law abiding hunters and so, I get where at times they come from, but assault rifles I cannot defend. However, as civil unrest grows, that doesn't help minimize that gun-rights voter block, as many see, even prepare for a day of Anarchy, one which January 6th foreshadowed!
Again, feeling like my aforementioned Old Testament prophet, one that no leader wanted to hear!
Late stage capitalism now has produced some very powerful individuals, few with a true love for our country, their wealth base now dependent upon multiple countries, future oligarchs should the system of political favoritism continue.
Yes, men and women with the wealth of small nations, control our maddening political banter, with even those most philanthropic, only practicing a legitimate form a tax evasion moreso than moral generosity.
As I recently heard the author of "Rich White Men" share, he offered the names of a several who could pay every person in a major city plagued by homelessness, living well below the poverty level, a six figure salary and still have billions in generational wealth to pass forward.
Of course that would not resolve that city's problem nor was it his recommendation. If such reparations were made, without a deep soul transformation, it would only exacerbate the growing numbers of those spiritual broken, living with little remedy other than a learned dependency on government driven programs. Did I fail to mention a national debt beyond our comprehension?
I was blessed to have been raised by a dad who survived the Great Depression, his family losing even their meager furnishing when the old rent house their large family settled into burned to the ground. He then served in WWII, and upon his return, having faced kamikaze pilots in the pacific, fought through his PTSD, raising his own 4 children. The Greatest generation!
I thus inherited a sound work ethic that has surely advantaged me and my family. My wife was raised the same, but not everyone has had that privilege. Don't let that last word trip you up!
So, how do we move forward. First, it seems we are in a moment of great national consternation, ripe for either revolution or transformation. However with a deep chasm in our moral bedrock. Yes, again I lay this at the feet of we Boomers and what we have afforded on our watch and within our religious institutions. Church as we know it has to change. The good news is many are now catching on.
Secondly, given the preponderance of social media, our national news networks, even within what few newspapers still remaining all go with "if it bleeds it leads," beguiling the minds of the majority with a far left or far right message that even further divides us. Personal disciplines that protect your spiritual and moral bent are critical, both for adults and our kids.
The news media's motivation given our consumer driven capitalism is a rating that attracts big bucks and cleverly designed advertisements from persuasive pharmaceutical companies to comedy like insurance commercials.
Even my dog occasional wakes up to watch each time the volume goes up and especially if dogs are a part! For real, our dog, Coach has all the dog containing commercials memorized!
We have lost all middle ground and fortunately it appears that the generations that follow us Boomers now see through that, thus the decline in what has always been a stabilizing force, the Institutional church. She in the past, had produced men and women willing to speak truth to the masses, though that truth even then had its own doctrinal biases.
In the past and by way of those institutions there have been break- through moments, allowing brief but transformational awakenings to steer us back to righteousness. Sadly, since the 1970's, forty million attenders have abandoned their institution parishes, more than the total added to the roles during both the First and Second Great Awakenings, plus the total of all "souls harvested" from the Billy Graham crusades. (reference: The Great De-churching).
The good news, even though less than 37% of Millennials see value in their "Momma's religion," with further decline predicted with each following generation, there is a marked hunger for spiritual renewal among those with whom I have met, most fifty and under for some seventeen years or more, either in our backyard cabin or nearby restaurants and coffee shops.
It has truly been my pleasure to meet one on one with Christ-centric marketplace leaders, as late as this week, young professionals who understand their spiritual calling, some even serving double duty, both in the marketplace as well as "pulpit posts" in hopes of change within their small churches and home groups.
For many, their business is their sanctuary, governed by Kingdom concepts of honesty, respect for individual uniqueness, deeply valuing relationship, generosity and a greater community perspective fueled by the Christ within! I'm placing my hopes on them, a movement long overdue.
Oh well, gotta finish mowing the yard. as I await our next Awakening. It's coming, though different than my Pentecostal Grandfather ever dreamed!