I learned early in life that what people say and what people do are two different things. A lot of kids spend a good amount of time with their parents, but when you go to and from the hospital you end up spending a lot of time with your parents. It was always interesting driving with my mother because her musical choices were not typical for the average suburban housewife. It was a mix of Barry Manilow, Culture Club, and Peter Paul and Mary, when I told that to a friend their response was “well, now everything makes sense!
Of the three groups I liked Peter, Paul and Mary the most. In my pre-teen years they were fun songs with a catchy tune, but as I got older my mother explained what the songs meant. Yes, some were about drugs, but others were about war, and whether they were about war, sex, or drugs, they were songs that told the story of frustration from a frustrated generation trying to understand the world they were in.
Sadly, what that turned into was anything but nirvana and the wars that permeate our society are so ingrained one can be left to wonder if peace is even a real possibility. For me growing up everything was a war. There were the wars in the Middle East, the cold war, but the idea of war permeated everything to say that we have a war on drugs, battles for civil rights, fighting for equality. A friend of mine once said “Americans are addicted to pornography of violence; this addiction means the only way we can look at things is win or lose.”
The sad thing is that, as it seems, every year, every election, the quest for the best answers, the best solutions are relegated to come second to the quest to win at all costs. Sadly, if the pre-GA material is consistent with what I encounter there, the groups are fighting battles trying to win a war and they are no longer working towards discernment and seeking truth.
My prayer as I head off to my restorative yoga practice, then bed down for the night is that at this GA we take the time to discern, come to understandings and not just fight for the win. I think if we do that, we can be the prophetic voice that our society somehow lost to the wars of the last few decades.
Rev. Dr. Bryan James Franzen