Good morning friends! To all of you who were affected by Hurricane Irene, I hope you have weathered the storm safely. We finally got our power restored on Thursday morning! I could not believe the number of major roads that were simply washed away up here. I cannot imagine the suffering in places in North Jersey like areas of Paterson, Wayne and Wallington…
Sometimes it takes disaster to move us to higher ground. Sometimes it takes a jolt to knock us into a new level of consciousness where suddenly those things we thought were so important really aren’t that important after all…and vice versa. I believe it is a true blessing to see God’s hand in ALL events. On one hand, being without power is a terrible hardship. On the other, it was a pure slice of heaven just to see the kids without their minds sucked into a TV, computer or the text screen of their cell phone! We haven’t sat around laughing, joking and just focusing on each other like that in quite a while. My wife actually said that if I could play Monopoly like that in real life, she would marry me all over again…and really mean it this time!! 🙂
So, this has brought a couple of things to mind that I would like to share this morning. The central backdrop to my two basic points is the overall state of health of our Faith as a society. Some may disagree, but on the whole I would say that Faith is on life support! My two basic points where our Faith is concerned are these; our distractions from it and our dialogue around it!
As I have said previously, we have been conditioned to live outer lives for a very good reason. Outer beings can be herded where inner beings cannot. The Inner Man responds to his life’s purpose and sets his intentions and actions accordingly. The Outer Man responds to the most appealing outer stimuli, and then he too engages accordingly. Now stop and think. What are all the big players in the Social Media & Telecommunication Industries racing after as if their very existence depends on it? Answer- Domination of the Appealing Outer Stimuli market! And, while it is very telling to follow the money flow into these sectors…it should sound major alarms when significant funding comes from the likes of social engineer George Soros. I say that because when you strip away the veneer of AOS, you find the Holy Grail of the physical world! Whether you are a Sales and Marketing Director looking for market share, or a Progressive Ideologue looking to transform a society you need to know:
A) Who people are?
B) How to influence their behavior?
So not only are all of these wonders of technology manipulating us towards some form of outer attachment or social agenda…even in the most benign circumstances they are distracting us away from the deeper waters of our innermost being. We have had to deal with distractions since the beginning of time. But I would argue that the sheer magnitude…the variety, size, scope and appeal… the gravity of today’s distractions are a way more powerful force than we have ever had to deal with.
As far as our dialogue is concerned, it is little wonder that our society has evolved to a place where it essentially rolls its eyes where Faith is concerned…especially our youth. They simply don’t buy Faith anymore. They choose the glitter of substance instead. They will attend Shabbat or Sunday school if they must, but their minds will be outside of the experience they would rather not be having.
So lets’ take a step back and listen to ourselves for a moment. Why in the world should anyone be drawn to something we have complicated and polluted so? Orthodoxy wags its finger at Reform, Reform at Neo-Reform, sovereignty versus grace, Muslims and Christians want to convert or persecute each other??? When you add it all up, WE in the Faith community have done a very good job of giving the Secular Humanists all the ammunition they need! AND…they own AOS & POP Culture!! It’s like trying to win at Monopoly when your opponent owns Park Place, Boardwalk, Marvin Gardens, Ventnor, Atlantic, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Pacific Avenues! Fagetta Bout it! (This is how Bloomberg can deny Prayer at Ground Zero!! Could he have accomplished that 30 years ago?) So what can the Faithful do?
You know the one about the secret whispered at one end of a very long table? By the time the original message reaches the other end, it has transformed to such a degree that it bears very little resemblance to the original message? This is because it takes on the character and intentions of the messengers in between. I am not suggesting that we abandon doctrine. But I am suggesting that something else has to breathe…and I am suggesting that the essence of that something is the common denominator of all Faiths. We cannot win the Outside game! But if we can get back to the original message and own the Inside Property, then their ownership of every property on the board won’t amount to a hill of beans! Besides silly…it’s all Monopoly money anyway! 🙂