A life with presence—that is, an uncommon spirit—redeems any situation from the commonplace…Adaptability is the power to make a suitable environment for oneself out of any set of circumstances. Most of us are all right if we can live in our own particular setting, with our own crowd, but when we get pitchforked somewhere else, either we cannot adapt ourselves, or we adapt ourselves too easily and lose God… ~ Oswald Chambers, Life with Uncommon Spirit
Here’s the thing…sometimes we all need a good “pitchforking” to snap us out of our own particular setting to realize the unhealthy nature and outright dangers and perils associated with staying the course of all right. There probably isn’t a more well-worn path on the planet, when you really stop to think about it. Slow death…
Unless…you keep a certain compass on your person. You know, the kind of instrument mariners have relied on for thousands of years. Knowing some thing(s) in the firmament is (are) fixed provide even the most disoriented their precious bearing. For the sake of today’s Tune-up, let’s call our life-saving instrument Tradition.
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” ~ Genesis 1:26
For Christians and Jews, the foundation of our tradition is the very word of God found in the Bible and relied upon for centuries. In fact, it is the very cornerstone of our society, source of our inalienable rights, and the often misunderstood essence of our American Exceptionalism. It is hard to overstate the greatness America achieved as a direct result of an entire people at every level of society, rowing to the same moral drumbeat, guided by the North Star of our Judeo-Christian tradition. The 1950s were a simple, romantic, and golden time in America. California beaches, suburbia, and style. Atlas Shrugged was published, NASA was formed, and Elvis rocked the nation. Every year from 1950–1959 saw over 4 million babies born. The nation stood atop the world in every field. It was an era of great economic prosperity in The Land of the Free…and then came the sixties.
You see, some guy named Georg Lukács (Frankfurt School) had come up with the bright idea to throw the compass of Tradition overboard. Lukács implemented a policy he titled “cultural terrorism,” which focused on these two objectives. A major part of the policy was to target children’s minds through lectures that encouraged them to deride and reject Christian ethics. Forced to flee Hitler’s Germany, he found a welcoming home at Columbia University. Almost overnight, the “Home of the Brave” devolved into a “Coalition of Victims”. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Which brings us to the subjective mosh pit of today. And so we now live in a hyper-sensitive society in which social memes and feelings have overtaken biological and objective reality as the main determinants of right and wrong. Our once great nation now finds itself more culturally divided than it has ever been on the eve of the most significant political election in the history of the world. Tragically, what can best be described as a diabolical fault line has cut the heart of America in two, separating friend from friend, neighbor from neighbor, and families from each other. People once madly in love, now only mad. The New York Times asks “Can this marriage be saved?” Now that’s absurdly comical…our Pravda questions the very rubble it helped conspire to create! I would ask the two more critically important questions from my own pitchforked post in exile; Can our country be saved? Can the individual soul be saved?
Only the “Uncommon Spirit” can say for sure…look to the North Star, for they have only hidden it.