This week is the beginning of a sad dawn for America. The death of the Twinkie. (Clinched fist raised in the air, Twinkie in the other hand, gangster tear running down my cheek.) Nah, just kidding. I haven’t bought a Twinkie in years and my understanding of food now has superseded my ability to enjoy a Twinkie. It would be more nutritious to swallow a spoon full of sugar and eat a cardboard box.
The thing is, I’ve been thinking about many things lately that relate to what I’ve just shared- In the midst of our great progression in this modern age, will wisdom ever “yo-yo” us back?
I met someone famous yesterday, Aswan North, the lead singer of one of my favorite rock bands. He is a cool dude, with an awesome story, and a gentle spirit. After I met him I almost immediately began an inner dialogue about fame, popularity, and riches. It wasn’t a pleasant dialogue. I’ve had this dialogue plenty of times. It’s what the world offers to us to chase after. It’s what many people chase after day in and day out. And it’s deeply affecting the christian religious world.
These goals are so very alluring and yet wisdom, in the form of the New Testament, tells us that they are harmful.
On a very practical level, I’ve been struggling with my usage of social media on my computer. It’s the way that I stay in touch with family and friends. It’s the way I “minister” to others. It’s also what keeps me distracted from getting much accomplished in the non-digital world. I’m a really clever and beloved guy in the digital world, I’m actually kind of popular… but at what expense?
I love eat Twinkies, they’re the bomb. Yet, since we first figured out how to produce such processed delights, (that probably cost pennies to make), we’ve developed a better understanding of heath and diet. Since we now know how bad such things are for us, we have no excuse. And as a result I’m sure that other foods(?) like Twinkies will cease holding their share of the market and die off, too.
Since I was a kid, we’ve progressed from having a single home phone that had a cord on it, to carrying pagers, to having cell phones, and now to having mini computers that we can carry in our pockets. Thankfully, I think it’s a bit of a “yo-yo” backwards that some people text more than make phone calls. Honestly, I wish I could go without a phone on my hip… I think I would be a much more peaceful person.
In the religious world, we’re so inundated with information that our churches have become cerebral nightmares. Jesus was untaught by the religious, some say that He might of been illiterate, yet He spoke the wisest words ever heard on planet Earth. And yet more that 50% of the sermons I hear are regurgitated information from popular Christian books. Sad story.
When will we as individuals, people who are reading this blog, love ourselves and our God enough to cut off the these things that are harmful. When will we sell our televisions? When will we cut off Facebook? When will we start to pray again? When will we go outside and enjoy creation again?
This principle isn’t new? Our age has just been too weak spiritually to take a stand and see that our progression has actually caused spiritually regression.
During the 300s, when Constantine came into power and developed a “Christian” nation, all of a sudden it became cool to be Christian. Conversion and a life sold out to God became unfamiliar. The spiritual gifts all but halted, as the body of Christ became sedated by the culture. Yet, there were a handful of folks who decided that they couldn’t live out their lives in Christ in that environment. So, they went to the desert, away from the comforts of life and the temptations of the flesh. They became what we now call the Desert Fathers and Mothers, the predecessors of the monks and the contemplatives.
This is what the hippies got a hold of in the 60s. They realized that the striving after things was vain. They we’re of coarse a little off, but nonetheless the same thread of wisdom was being sown into them. This is the same thing St. Francis did. He was from a super wealthy family and one day after meeting Christ and hearing His call, gave all of His former possessions back to his father, even the garment He was wearing. He walked away naked.
What will it take for me and you to realize that if we don’t put up some serious boundaries we’re going to wreak against the rocks? I’m not that important. And my character grows more and more shallow as I brainlessly entertain myself. But, if I let my hands off of the proverbial steering wheel I’ll find myself in a proverbial ditch. Or worse, I’ll find myself in my grave having left no legacy and having left a weaker Kingdom of God than when I was born.
May it never be.