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09.17.01 - Come On!
09.03.01 - Anti-Racist Postmodernism?
08.27.01 - Really, Really Big Worship Ruts
08.20.01 - Your Own Personal Jesus
08.13.01 - New Agriculture, New World View
08.06.01 - Macro Questions
07.30.01 - Grace or Holiness … Must We Choose?
07.23.01 - The People Formerly Known as Lost
07.16.01 - Are We Motivated by Love?
07.09.01 - Take the Postmodern Reformation Quiz
07.02.01 - Artist Myths and Beyond
06.25.01 - Transformation For All Of Us
06.18.01 - Schleitheim, Shepherds, and 21st Century Leadership
06.11.01 - Tenth Anniversary
05.28.01 - Salvation and Mission
05.14.01 - Looking Beyond Ourselves
04.30.01 - The Ministry of Mapmaking
04.16.01 - On Sinking or Swimming in Postmodern Culture
The Compass That Was Then, This Is Now, and You Are Here…

Has anyone noticed that the Ozzie and Harriet show has been cancelled?

Some people just can't let go of the past. I can understand that -- I'm at the age now where I'm feeling very lost and very out of place.

Driving in traffic these days scares me. The malls are mazes of chaos and confusion. There are only so many coffee flavors I can try. It seems like more and more people I meet in the workforce just don't care. I don't like the new cars that came out this year. I don't like much of new anything -- as I feel less and less connected to the world around me.

There are times I want to retreat into a world where I would read the books I've collected, listen to the music I like, dig up some tangible nostalgia and reminisce about the good ole' days. This is a place we all feel secure and safe -- it's predictable, manageable, enjoyable, and best of all -- it's ours.

I would like to believe that my detachment from society is what the Bible speaks about in 1 Corinthians 5:15-20, particularly verse 17: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! Scripture also tells us to live according to the Holy Spirit to set our minds on the Spirit's desires (Romans 8:5), and to live as aliens and strangers in this land (1 Peter 2:11, Hebrews 11:13). I do feel out of place in this world, and yes, it is getting stranger.

I know several Christians who wish they were living in a previous time period, or wished things were the same as they were "years ago." One time I shared with such an individual how some churches today approach evangelism as if it were the 1950's. The response I got was "Well, if people would act as they did in the 50's, and have the morals they did in the 50's, then we wouldn't have the problems we do today."

"You're right," I replied, "but they don't act as they did in the 50's, and we do have these problems today. Our job as a church is to meet people where they are and bring them the Gospel, not make them into who we want them to be first."

Some of us Christians, frustrated with today's lack of morals and increase in spiritual attacks, would like to go back to a time and place and culture where it is nice and comfortable and safe. It's predictable, manageable, enjoyable, and it's ours. But it's not God's! If we really have a hard time dealing with where we are, go back into the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus (Matthew 26:36-45; Luke 22:39-46). Jesus didn't have a life of comfort and safety -- so why should we?

God made us who we are and when we are. We were not put in the wrong era. God put us here on earth at the right time, as part of his plan -- this was no mistake. So instead of moping around and complaining about how bad things are, and how good things used to be, spend your time and energy seeking what God wants you to do with your life here and now.

The neighborhood has changed, the corner store has closed down, your favorite car has rusted out, your friends have moved away, the kids are all grown up, and the Ozzie and Harriet show has been cancelled. But your life in this time and place has been renewed for another season.

-- Will Schirmer is a member of the MRN Advisory Council. He is currently working on a book about Mennonites and evangelism.

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