consider this an open invitation,
dear brothers and sisters who share
the first part of this wasted century:
take a deep breath, say a quick prayer,
and step down off your dismissal-box.
toss off the cynic-mask, and take a walk
bare-toed through soft grass. accept that
nothing will be as hip as you expect, that the
cutting-edge of "cool" is a cold and lonely place, and
that drowning your mind-meals in irony-sauce
only makes things harder to swallow in the long run.
here's the open call: embrace the lameness within you.
acknowledge that your veneer of detachment is just
a fascade to hide your awkward adjustment into maturity.
learn to weigh created things on their own merits,
and stop trying to decide if you are "allowed" by your
"good taste" to enjoy them. and for the love of all that is
bright and true in this scarred, sad world, stop trying to
impress your peers with five-dollar terminology, invented
by a half-baked sociology grad-student fifteen years ago.
"Post-modernism" is just as much a construct as "modernism"
was. Big shock--everything old is new again, and everything
new is written off as "the garbage produced by corporate
sell-outs." Don't talk about the "emergent" church as if it's
something new and different. If anything, it's a retreating
church, emerging backwards--and that's okay, too.
Be bold, fellow wanderers, have the courage to say
that your forefathers may have actually done some things right!
Don't let the fear of being called "backwards" or "medieval"
cage up your desire to seek the right path in familiar places.
Let's take the shiny wrapping off the concept of "new,"
shall we? Because that propaganda's been spread long
enough. New isn't automatically improved, whether in thought
or speech or religious practice. Divorce the false definition;
"new" is not a moral condition, simply a chronological designation.
The new ways aren't new, anyway, so stop fooling yourself.
And finally, in conclusion, know that you are loved by God. You are
adored by Him. You don't have to be "smart enough" or "pretty enough"
or "strong and successful enough." So much of our striving is for
approval that is already offered. Just be, brothers. Just rest,
sisters. You are loved by God. Be at peace. Accept that love. Don't try
to impress it or earn it or justify it. It cannot be wrested that way.
Just accept it. Be thankful for it. Let it be your life.