We are more than a few months into a recession.
We are staring at possible diminished harvests. A quick turnaround has not happened. Instead, people are straining to keep their budgets in check. Retail stores find income dwindling. Relationships are stretched.
Let me add another twist to what you already know.
We have heard the stories of the first settlers in this area – back at the turn of the 1900’s. They tell of progress, struggle, faith, family and friends. Their stories were absorbed and became a part of the background of their children.
Now, these homesteaders’ sons and daughters are dying. With them a whole narrative is being lost – no longer seen in impassioned faces or heard in rambling stories. They would tell us of first living with little (the 30’s), then living with traumatizing war (the 40’s) and finally settling into abundance (the 50’s).
This cycle of stories become the background for a baby boomer generation. Trying to carve a new (and often rebellious) path, while hearing the whispers of the past, baby boomers sought “unfettered freedom”. The baby boomers were a generation that was first exposed to abundance (60s), then thrown into moral and imaginative extravagances (70s), and finally succumbed to institutionalization and boredom (80s).
Baby boomers spent ahead of their credit, with a slight sense of guilt when their extravagances outweighed their resources. They leaned into entertainment and recreation while their conscience plagued them with the need for hard work. They refined institutional management while bemoaning the loss of connection with others.
And then, another pendulum swing!
Stripping of the planet’s resources provided the baby boomers with abundance, at the expense of a future flourishing ecology. Their children have dug deep into environmentalism to purge themselves from the waste of their parents. The children have also sought wider connection with others through tolerance. This has led to unconditional acceptance of all lifestyles and religious manifestations – what might be considered as the end game of the supposed freedom their parents once desired.
And now, in another cycle of life, we are captured by extremists, whom we find reprehensible and intolerable. We are overrun by financial catastrophes – and credit takes the credit. Our planet groans awaiting a true redemption while we fight over what an integrated ecology really looks like.
Does God laugh or cry? Having seen this before, watched fools explode with their own wisdom, and having waited patiently for someone to ask the creator what to do – God must wonder when we will turn to holiness (a great word for being something other than the stupidity we foist on others, our planet and on God).
Do we really need to re-cycle? Or do we need to re- new?