I can remember when life was black and white, literally. We had a large TV. I remember that the screen was 13 inches, although the cabinet it sat in was more than three times that size. Life was simple. The rules were well defined. Yes there were blurry edges, but they were in the lives of others. Everyone I knew subscribed to the red, white, and blue. Those on the inside went to church and lived an almost scripted line of events.
As I look back, I can see that it was never that simple. It was and yet it wasn’t. With time and technology what was always here became transparent. The torn lives of World War II played out in generational spirals of rebellion. We wanted more than just sacrifice. We needed more than knowing humanity’s moments of insanity. We need community. We wanted to know we were loved. We wanted something different.
Each generation that followed got a little bit bolder. We never realized we were moving increasingly into a virtual world, a world where we live alone with our thoughts and imagination.
This is the only world I know. As much as I might long for something different, it is where I am. In this world I have come to realize that in order to understand my life and within it my God, I need to understand the life and god of others. Their stories inform mine. Their insights enrich my life in ways nothing else can. At the same time, where we differs has allowed me to see my God more clearly. For each, I owe them a debt of thanks. I am richer for them. Because of their faith and journeys with Divinity, I can ask if “there any god like God? Are we not at bedrock?” (Psalm 18.31) I know we are different, yet at the year we are pursuing the source of love, compassion, and community.
In the uncertainty that comes with the dawn, I am thankful for the gift others give me in sharing their stories with god.