Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Door

So I've been having this inexplicable sense lately that someone needs to do something about the downward cycle of our current state of societal affairs. Jordana and I have been in that place of trying to figure out what the next few years of our lives will look like. Will we buy a house? Will we go overseas? Will we live here forever? Will we have children? In the midst of all these questions comes a large bundle of emotions like cynicism, fear, excitement, and anxiety. How do we keep from falling victim to the "American Dream"? How do we change that dream into something that is not empty, wasteful, and ignorant? How do we live out the kingdom of God in our materialistic society, what does this look like? I was journaling during worship at church tonight and thinking about everything that's happening around the world and our connection with it. It seems like in this country we like to view grief and violence as a distant thing in terms of "those poor people, we'll pray for them". I can't shake this sense that we are connected to everything that's happening, we have personal stakes and responsibility in it. Anyway, I was journaling and wanted to share a little excerpt from what I wrote because I found it rather intriguing, I was pretty happy with it. Anyway, here it is:

Father, wash white as snow our world that is crimson-stained beyond recognition with the blood of innocents, with the sins of our fathers, with the sins of ourselves. In the end, we are all responsible. Has it happened through complacency, through ignorance? Are we the frogs in a boiling pot of water who are none the wiser because we allowed this to happen gradually? This is no longer on the shoulders of our fathers, no one else is to blame. It is on us, it is our responsibility. We must be the ones to step up, to take action. We must be the ones to fight hate with love, complacency with action, materialism with meaning and substance, the dream of America with the dream of Christ. I feel as if I am at the doorway to a new realm, but I don't know how to open the door.


jonathan said...

Lots of good questions Colter. I also struggle with knowing how to properly live a kingdom lifestyle (Jesus' examples confuse me at times... when do we sell the expensive bottle of perfume to feed the poor and when do we just pour it all out to enjoy?) We are called to a truly "good life" - one of sacrifice, but also of joy and pleasure (eg: I could have given $350 to charity instead of buying our Basset Hound - but there's something to be said for the happiness that she adds to my life and the example we set by embracing and taking care of part of his creation?) You're right - homes, cars, tv's... it's tough stuff...
I also want to encourage you to keep personalizing these issues. Christians sometimes tend to just be "big picture" people - we tend to look at societal ills such as hate, greed, poverty, "the aids crisis" and we want to tackle them as "issues" - but, really, at heart, it all comes down to individual people - the face of these things. If we can't allow God's Spirit to change us individually - and if we can't help people individually - we'll never make a dent in our towns, countries, and world. I know that politics and policies can effect some change, but the key lies in the lowest common denominators. Sorry to blog on your blog again.
PS: Missed you at the Tyler/Gerrard wedding - it was a blast.

Dustin said...

Colter, it's been a long time!

That sounds exactly how I feel right now. It really feels like I'm on the edge of some canyon, something epic, but all I see is a black wall. I know it just takes one ray of light to pierce that veil, but some days I feel like block it out in fear of what might be and others like I can start to see the black begin to fade.

I've really been enjoying your blog. Keep it up. Hope all is well with you.