What can I do?

The End Times

I have seen the “end times” as a recurring theme in this community. So before writing any more I want to admit to a huge frustration with the topic of the “end times”.  Only because I am living in the “now times”.  I cannot live in the “end times” – only the “now times”.  The now times like today and a selection of news items scanned in less than 20 minutes.

The Nile(s).  Historically (and today) a source of water for several countries. Yet increasingly fought over politically. Population increase, commercial and industrial needs, waste and sewage dumping, political leverage within and across countries in that region.

Weinstein.  A power magnate sought and feted.  The “what goes in Hollywood stays in Hollywood” now a feeding frenzy of “what goes in Hollywood damaged me and I want the world to know”.  Yet another abuse of power accepted because that’s “how they do things around here” (and because which aspiring wannabee will choose to be consigned to anonymity rather than celeb status).

Child Welfare Services (England and Wales).  Once again at crisis point.  Once again too many cases, too much workload, not enough resources.  90 children a day being taken into care.  Kids slipping through the net.  Yet no mention of parents who have created life having any responsibility.  That ownership has been quietly acquired by the State.

Prisons.  Same as for Child Welfare Services.  Yet no one is asking why the prisons require so many staff (whose numbers have been cut).  Why so many human beings need to be locked-up out of sight and mind, until they hit the news and their frustration is used to bang the drum of Government cuts leading to unsafe prisons.

Brexit.  The interminable politicking and showmanship – devoid of humanity – rumbling on.  Business as usual with leaks and whispers and “it’s them not us”.  No one wishing to connect – each side wishing to win (whatever that means).

Trump.  The world’s unhealthy obsession with nitpicking  celeb status.  This time Melania and Ivana.   Now a “first lady fight”.  The “fluff in my belly-button” stuff – because oh, how we like to topple those we think (or everyone else thinks) should be toppled.

And yet the end times tea-leaf-readers look for the “Evil One” and whether the “Evil One” is ticking the right tick-boxes yet (as described in the bible).

And yet if I was the “Evil One” why would I be so predictable … ?

I might infuse the mechanism of state with increasing complacency.  I might start with the “thin end of the wedge” so no one notices.  I might use a financial crisis – I might encourage making easy money available to all – I might (when the inevitable crash comes – again) encourage two targets of blame: individuals like you and me (because we all like easy money – and we all took it – so we might hate the bankers – but we know deep down that we are as much to blame), or the bankers rather than you and me – because they were growing fat off my loans and mortgage repayments (that I could not – so did not repay) – and they took our houses and lives – so they deserve everything they get.

And I might also encourage this global digital connectivity through social media.  Meaning that anything anywhere brings instant opinion and disgust (in less than 141 characters).  Until the next voyeur spectacle – the next cough – the next sneeze – the next “I am offended” trending topic.  Just how distracting is that?

Because a “side benefit” is that what happens between me and my neighbour(s) can be ignored.  Because that would mean speaking face-to-face with the possibility of hassle – looking silly  – being told something I could not answer (whilst still looking good).  Far easier to diminish my neighbour with a meaningful “Some PEOPLE!” on social meeja!

I might just encourage individual relationship with greed.  Because how effective has all “this” become at immuning each one of us to the humanity of each situation?   And as a mechanism for “caring overload” (with the predictable “caring suspension” backlash) … just how effective this is.

All this cumulative noise … ?  Look at the “What can I do … ” response –

“I am just one person … we are just one small group … one tiny community … one small region … one country dependent on trade with others … one alliance who can’t afford to offend that trading bloc over there … one something (even on a global scale) unable to bring about change because … We have too much to lose.”

And when it comes to losing out – then “we” have a standard of living to protect.  “We” have too much to lose.  “We” would risk everything.  “We” should just let them get on with it – while “we” look after our own.  And that happy place for the “Evil One” now reaches into so much of our living.  So any list I propose is sure to offend many who will respond with “How very dare you!

The end times?

Is that not just part of the “bigger picture” distraction?

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And why here?  Why “this” on Church Set Free?

Because I think “The Church” (not buildings and institutions but “us”) is more and more and more in and of this world – which I see expressed (more and more) as …

“I am just one person … we are just one small group … one tiny community … one small region … one small church … one denomination … one something (even on a global scale) unable to bring about real change because … We are not enough. I am not enough.”  

That’s why. 

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Follow me

If I can only “follow Christ” better by selling everything and becoming one of the poor, if I can only “follow Christ” better by withdrawing from this world in one form of retreat or another, if I see myself needing the desert of distance from that which is comfortable and normal, if I need to go to church to be close to God … If  I “need” something I have not yet got in order to “follow Jesus” more closely –

Why might that be?

 

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I sit here with a job, an income, a home and family.  I sit here looking out on the digital world through my television, my computer, my smart phone.  I walk with those who do not believe a God exists as defined and validated by the sacred texts of religion.  I walk with those who the church defines sinners, deems the lost, names the unchurched.  I talk with those who name themselves something that makes sense only to them.  I laugh with those who see the world through a different lens.  I live with those who do not speak with me nor I them.

For my neighbour has the choice to live as they see fit no matter what I believe and no matter who “I follow”.  For I do not have to become poor to connect with “the poor”.  I do not have to become my neighbour to love my neighbour.

I do not have to smell unwashed.  I do not have to live as they live nor they as me.  For I think that not “following” better.  I think that pretending. I think that withholding.  I think that not connecting.  I think that sampling.  Like a dj on decks providing for someone else.  Providing for the listeners.  But yet apart.

How do I follow?

I think by not following at all.

I think that I become a follower when I become who I am.

I think that I become a follower when becoming who I am allows you to become who you are.

I think I become a follower when I see no difference in your colour, your country, your income, your power, your religion, your faith or your absence of faith.

I think I become a follower …

By not following at all.

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