and a lot of people are shouting trying to be heard. Only God seems quiet these days as our culture seems to find ways to the bottom and then start digging. Yet, is that so?
I’m no prophet but the signs of the times in the United States appear to point to an era where observant Christians will no longer find support from the most of the major institutions of this culture, including many churches. Corporations, media, governments, and academia in many places are either not supportive of our lives, our visions, or our lifestyles, and often can be directly hostile. Truly the world of my childhood when towns were basically closed on Sundays is long gone and, in my lifetime, will never return.
So its a wilderness life for us until our culture cracks and breaks under the pressure of the many forms of brokenness that come to pass when people ignore the lived experiences of people over time we call tradition. It’s already starting as our nation, having jettisoned any idea of an overarching narrative informed by the graces of Christianity is becoming more diseased and turning on itself. Sanity will come, of course, but not after some years of tribulation while the old lessons being ignored are relearned through pain.
It can be all quite frightening to watch. Sad, as well. What kind of person can watch a society come unraveled without having some kind of compassion, especially a Christian? Yet, is it possible that in all the storms and hubbub God is not silent, but gently calling those who still seek Him to something beautiful, real, and holy. Stripped of all the trappings of the world’s support, could it be that we are being called back to our first loves, not the least of which may be the simple rediscovery of God?
We American Christians can make such an idol of our country, so much that we mistake its values for what should be our own, it’s ideals for ours, and it’s way of life for the life of Christ. That might be why so many of us are actually shocked and traumatized to discover that this culture in which we had put so much hope is starting to turn on us and one day might even use its power to make us outcasts in our own land.
Yet, our home, as observant Christians, was never truly in this land or any other for that matter. We belong to a Kingdom that can live in this world but ultimately is beyond it. If it is our lot to be exiles in this country the blessing in it may be that we rediscover Whose we are, who we are, and the very core of Truth about God, ourselves, and this world that’s been buried under the weight of an increasingly consumer and decadent culture.
The world is crazy, and I think, sadly, that we’ve not even come close to the end of the shouting all around us. Still, God is there, alive, present, and quietly inviting us to come to Him and find the real rest we’ve been seeking. In the end that still, small, voice, may be just exactly what we need to hear and the one place of true rest in a world of storms.