First off, this is not a complaint or a criticism, it’s just an observation. Often when the culture starts going down the path of subjective reality, of perpetual moral ambiguity, there’s this somewhat anxiety driven reaction, this need to affirm some boundaries, to slow down what appears to be a rapid freefall through the universe, a decline sure to end in disaster.
I grew up in moral ambiguity, I know this feeling well, this need to establish edges in your world, because what you’re looking at is just complete moral soup, and not even good soup, but over cooked chaos. Good has become evil, evil has become good, and nobody seems to know what end is up. I often use analogies from Alice in Wonderland because surely this is the Mad Hatter’s tea party.
So several people I enjoy reading, some of them pastors, are like, stomping their feet, reacting, as if to say you know what, adultery is still a sin and gender is NOT fluid, or whatever the issue of the moment is. They see the chaos and they react, they try to bring order to it. That’s what I mean when I say this is not a complaint, because that in and of itself is not a bad thing, but reacting to chaos can be. It’s our reaction that can be problematic because then what happens is we’re being pulled along by culture. We aren’t acting, we’re just re-acting to what we’re being fed.
Now all I have to do to trigger you is write a fake news story about your pet issue and it’s off to the races. You are now being played. Manipulated.
Ephesians 4:14 says, “So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” That’s what I mean by “reacting.” We see something on social media and we respond. We want to counter act it. We want to bring order to it. The problem being, when we allow that to happen we’re being led by social media and not led by the Holy Spirit.
But my words are not just for pastors, not just for bloggers, but for all of us! We have the power to bring order to chaos, by simply standing, by being a calm, non anxious, non reactionary, presence. That is so powerful, that can change everything. In fact, it’s the only thing that ever does! Screaming at crazy people and informing them they are crazy has never made anyone sane.
Twitter has been afflicted with this video of these two brats on a plane, a woman with her seat reclined and a man punching the back of it just enough to be annoying. So she’s video taping his behavior and some 50 thousand people have now had to weigh in on this matter.
Why? Because we’re currently trapped in moral ambiguity and free falling through the universe. People have this anxiety ridden need to establish some boundaries and enforce some justice. It’s actually kind of a scary thing, because while somewhat subtle, it’s still mob mentality, panicked and reactionary. It’s symptomatic of people feeling unsafe and fearful. Where is right and wrong in our world?! Where are the boundaries? Where are the grown ups? Stop the ride, I want to get off!
I’m at risk of reacting too, so I’m not singling anyone out, I’m just saying I can see really well how this game is played and I know how to extract myself from it. I’m sensitive to my reactionary nature, so I’m totally preaching to myself here, too.
There’s an old fashioned concept kind of related to avoiding gossip, called MYOB, mind your own business. I have to use this skill a lot. Is it any of your business how two adults, complete strangers to us, are behaving on an airplane? Unless you’re an air marshal, probably not. There are millions of these kind of things in the world, some of them not even real, some of them totally fake, deliberately designed simply to get our attention and to provoke a reaction.
MYOB means much more than just, stay out if it isn’t your your business. Mind. Your. Own. Business. Pay attention to how you are feeling. Listen to what is going on in your mind. Make it your business. Own your own reaction.