I don’t think I’m a cynical person. I think most people would describe me as positive and optimistic. Yet here’s what I’ve noticed a lot of from my generation and the generations below me: there’s a lot of blame, excuse, complaining and passivity. I don’t blame us, I mean in lots of ways many of us have been handed a less than desirable world. Broken families, lack of healthy interactions, social awkwardness, identity issues, anxiety, stress – it’s all a part of our reality. And then there’s the world with its terrorism, politics, superficiality, violence, materialism, selfishness, lies and on and on the list could go. I get it – it’s not good. But here’s what I wonder: if we respond to the life we’ve been handed with blame, cynicism, complaints and just distract ourselves with shiny things and sit passively not involved, than what world will we have to give to the next generation. If what we’ve been handed is less than desirable and we do nothing to change anything than won’t the life we hand to who comes after us be even worse than we’ve been given?
We are not the first generation to wrestle with these issues. As I read the Bible I see often the characters existing in chaotic, confusing and often downright evil societies. It’s in these ancient pages I also see a different response than the one I often see from our generation and the generations after us. I see people rising up even though they’re afraid, even though they don’t know what to do, even when it’s very few of them. And do you know what happens back then? God acts, God moves through often small, rag tag groups of people who are scared but trusting. Real people who have very little of thier stuff together who God uses to begin to turn the tide.
It’s our turn. We’ve been given the baton whether we like it or not, it’s our turn now. So what will we do with our turn? How will we act? What message will we give to those around us? Is it a message of hope or one of despair? Will we learn to love or only to judge? Will we live under the authority of God or live for ourselves and be our own boss? Do we, as the church, have anything to offer to the world around us? What will be our legacy? I would call us to rise up and answer the call, to let go of the excuses (even if they’re really good ones), to stop pointing fingers and get on the solution side of things. And I’ll be honest, I don’t have the answers, but I know that they won’t be found by passively watching from the outside. We need to engage, we need to pray, we need to focus, we need to forgive, and we need to invest in what really matters. And who knows, maybe a small, rag tag group of blog readers and church goers could actually be used of God to make an impact?