Can I lock my kids up forever? Ok maybe not forever, perhaps just until 30ish? I’ve been doing some preparations for the coming year. We are homeschooling my son while he continues therapy so I have to get everything ready for Grade 1. The curriculum has arrived and we are in the process of seeing what he knows, what he needs to know and trying to determine the best schedule for him. It’s going well I think and I’m excited to see what and how he learns over the coming year. It’s been wonderful to watch him grow and learn, expand and discover.
Why would I want to lock him up then? He and his brother truthfully? It might have something to do with the fact that in the last 48 hours I’ve learned more about people than I wanted to know. I’ve heard from mainstream media sources that Ashley Madison was hacked. You know the site I’m talking about, the one where married people go to find others to have an affair with. Yes, that one. I found out via Facebook that Josh Duggar allegedly has an account there. Too much information for me and so devastating for his wife and family. Then this morning I happened upon an article from Vanity Fair exposing Tinder and the Hookup-Culture of today. It’s all too much for me.
Before you think I’m naive, or a prude or judgemental I’d like to say I’m not. Oh I guess we’re all a little judgemental but that’s not what my reaction was to any of this. My initial reaction was both relief and horror at the thought of a society built around easy hookups and no true connection. I kept imagining myself in this kind of dating world and breathing a sigh of relief that my husband and I are friends and partners. I know these things happen in our world but I don’t want to participate in them. I question a culture that values the needs of the individual at the expense of the other. I wonder where love, service, devotion and faith fit into a world that tells us we can have what we want, when we want it with no expectation of connection, relationship or true knowledge of the other. It’s terrifying to me that my boys may grow up in a world where relationships aren’t valued, where there is no desire to know another, where everything is about the self and how you can please that ‘self’.
I’m old fashioned I know but these attitudes about sexuality are not just about sexuality, they have permeated more aspects of our lives than we care to admit. It’s becoming acceptable to be selfish. It’s normal to proclaim that we deserve happiness or money or whatever the flavour of the month is. Selfishness is acceptable now. In fact I think it’s almost expected. This concerns me. I see it permeating every aspect of life and find myself fighting it. I fight back against the idea that I should not serve others. I fight back against the idea that I should always come first. I fight back agains the idea that I deserve anything and I try to remember that what I have is a gift from God to be used in service to him.
As a follower of Jesus I find myself turning to him as an example for how to live life. He placed others ahead of himself, shared stories of grace and love and taught his followers to go out into the world living as he himself lived. He didn’t say go out and take care of yourself before others. He said get out there and share this great thing that you know. Get out there and give what you’ve received to others.
That’s what’s missing in this world today. The give what you’ve got to others mentality. We’ve built a society around the idea that we can acquire, accumulate and control what is on this earth. We must let that go. In order for us to be healthy, for our Churches to thrive, for our people to be cared for we need to let go of what we want and move forward with what God wants. Our selfish ambitions and desire for success, for comfort and control are preventing us from truly living the light sharing, Gospel spreading life that we are called into.
We need to fight back. We need to fight against the notion that we serve ourselves over others. We need to remember who we serve and live as Jesus lived. It’s a fight, no doubt. It’s a constant struggle against what we hear but when we do it, when we live this way we see great things happen through God. Are we ready to surrender our desires and expectations for God’s vision and purpose? Are we ready to serve God or will we serve ourselves?