Friday, March 18, 2016

The Age of Disillusionment (part 2)

In a previous post I discussed how we seem to be on the cusp of a whole new era in our country or perhaps we are already there.  The past era has been dubbed the “age of information” and as a result, we have information galore.  The problem is trying to figure out which information is reliable and which is garbage. A consequence of choosing poorly is that unreliable information often lets you down.  A lot of unnecessary challenges pop up when the information used to make important life decisions disappoints. A natural consequence of continual disappointment is disillusionment and that is epidemic right now.  When people live their lives in a fog of disillusionment they often become cynical, bitter and hopeless. 

          It is interesting to see the level of cynicism in many of the candidates running for president this election cycle. Could it be that cynicism may be one of those things that voters find appealing?  Perhaps it is exactly what connects with them.

          Still, many long for the principles that, in their opinion, made our country great.  People used to relish hearing about individuals who started out with nothing but hard work and God’s blessings they made something of themselves.  They took advantage of the opportunities in a country with a vigorous economy and strong manufacturing to work hard and make their own way leaving a legacy for their family.  Government was at one time expected to create an environment and a context in which people could work to write their own story. Most folks just wanted to realize the American Dream. 

          We seem to have gotten away from that somewhat.  I know it has been repeated too much but remember when it played well to remind people of the old JFK quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country?”  In modern times so many of the questions being asked seem to revolve around “what can the government do for me?” Discussions around health care, education, human rights and many other issues all seem to center around the expectation that government should take care of us and let us do what we want. The focus is on what is best for the individual and not what is best for the country.

          Call me old fashioned but I still like the concept of expecting individuals to take personal responsibility for their own mess, for their own decisions, for helping those around them who are needy and caring for those under their own roof.
         Christians need to take the lead here.  We need to be a people who face adversity and challenge by leaning on God and going to him often in prayer.  I for one would rather lean on God in times of trouble than on a politically correct government that is being weakened by the overwhelming demands of a populace consumed with materialism and in possession of an unquenchable appetite for government services.

A prudent government might be able to fix economies, improve foreign relations, enforce laws and defend the nation against threats but it will never be able to fix people.  Only people can fix people and that only with a faith in God who is able to change hearts and draw others to Him with his amazing love. It is His love that is desperately needed now because only His kind of love can offer the hope required to overcome disillusionment.

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