“It’s 2016. How are we not past this?”
Do you know what I mean? This is the Digital Age! Information at our fingertips! We should know better. And when we know better, we should do better. It was one thing when we were cave-dwellers, grunting and beating our chests, right? It was one thing in the 15th century when we didn’t have Freud to analyze our fear of other, right? It was one thing in the American South when we actually believed we were benevolent, taking people away from their families and homes, because we were giving them a better life, right? It was one thing in the sixties when the new ideology clashed with traditional and created a turbulent time, right? But now? In 2016? We should be past this. I mean, we’ve had billions of years to evolve. Billions of years of history and experience. At this point, this should pretty much fix itself, right?
But somehow, racism persists. Human trafficking persists. Sexism persists. Poverty persists. Abuse persists. The idea that one group knows what’s better for another group persists. The raping, pillaging, and plundering of creation persists. And somehow, the leading presidential candidates in the United States are a man who whines about anything that goes against him like he’s a five-year-old and a woman who has built her career hiding things. (Not that there aren’t other choices, but they are what the majority of our nation has chosen.) Somehow, this isn’t fixed yet.
How? How are we not past this?
I believe – no, I know the human race cannot fix our own issues. That much is clear from a history of repetitive and increasingly pervasive mistakes. Or it should be, but somehow, in spite of our proven track record, we still cling to the idea that we can and will fix ourselves – if we just put the right officials in office in November, if we just talk enough and do enough about the issues, if we can just get everyone else to see things the way we do,… well, you get the idea. But it’s still not enough, because there is always something (usually in the form of someone else) standing in our way. Other people are always the problem, and we are always the solution.
This tells me we need something other and infinitely greater than ourselves to make things right. An outside force greater than the sum of our parts.
I may not believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, may not always have the best relationship with the Church, but let me tell you, I believe in Jesus. Jesus is the Only One able to make our wrongs right by restoring our relationship with the Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit. Living in harmony with God is the only way we can live in harmony with everything He made.
We cannot hope to do this ourselves, okay? We have failed ourselves, history shows, and let’s not deceive ourselves into thinking we haven’t. Let’s not let the enemy deceive us into thinking we’re doing pretty good on our own.
It’s time to look to Jesus. Time to surrender our independence from God, to surrender our independence in trying to be God. Time to recognize our need for Him, our inability without Him. Time to let God be God, and to just delight in being the created, which is all He has ever asked of the human race.
For those of us who already believe in Him, it’s time to talk more about Jesus. Time to show a hurting world that Jesus is the Only One who makes wrong things right, the Only One who can show us the Heavenly Father. Time to prove He’s the Living God by letting His Life live in us. Time to stop talking about what we can do, and start talking more about what He can do.
“I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me” (Revelation 3:15-20 NRSV).