Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sustainable Moderns

It's fascinating to me how often I unexpectedly overhear conversations about kombuca and essential oils and EVOO and all things old. Yes, all things old.

There seems to be a shift. Or maybe I'm just young. Or maybe not.

A shift of culture, back to tradition. Sustainable moderns unite!

How beautiful. How beautiful to live in tradition, yet to maintain a value for good things of old. To not throw the baby out with the bath water, as they say. It seems to be a season of re-discovery... At least in America where we have desperately screwed things up by taking such controle of our lives from agro-business all of the way to medically unnecessary cesareans (oh how I could drone on with those topics).

I will admit that there is greatness in the scientific, medical, technological and agricultural advancements that we have made as a culture over the past 300 years. Even just over the past 50 years. Phenomenal! We were created to be creators... In the image of our Papa; so we are living out our identity in these discoveries. Yet, there is a great brokenness in the way that we apply our creativity to the world around us. And, conversely, there is a great beauty in the natural rhythms of the created order. I ponder over the beautiful balance between living in the created rhythms and advancing what we have been given. What does actual stewardship really look like... As it was made to look.

That's why I love running into people and casually talking about how they co-sleep with their baby rather than putting them to sleep with a bottle. Yet, in the same conversation we talk about pursuing post-graduate education. It's as though we are reclaiming the truth written over by the limited Greco-Roman philosophy of dichotomy. That we are, again, embracing that life is both supernaturally beautiful and naturally broken at the same time.

Sustainable and yet modern. Bread and yet body. Enchanted and mystical yet ordinary and natural, as the dessert Fathers and Mother of old write. As the God fearing Catholics proclaim. A circular perspective of life, as the Hebrews embrace. A kind of pre-Western way of thinking. Could this be the heart behind the broken truths of post-modernism? The desperate extension of the heart back to a Truth that's is not black and white but is not fully grey. A Truth that is not determined in the eyes of the beholder, but that is determined in the eyes of the group, yet is so personal to the individual that it is closer than their skin. A Truth that is so True and beyond us that we cannot comprehend it. Maybe that's the real value in post-modern ideals... That Truth cannot be held in your hand, as the moderns tried to say. Yet the brokenness in post-modern though is that Truth is neither just a whimsical and emotional projection of ones own experiences. Truth cannot be limited and Truth is not just an abstraction of personal value.

As this type of Truth and this world view applies to the daily (that is to assume that Truth is more than just a philosophy or theology, but that it has physical and daily and personal implications), it makes me ponder if Godly stewardship looks like co-sleeping and nursing your baby while also pursing career and education (or whatever else you have been created to do). What if health looks like using organic essential oils while enjoying some In In Out every once in a while. What if sustainability looks like riding your bike to work while also having the newest Apple products. Maybe that just sounds like progressive hipster, or maybe it's part of what Colossians talks about when it states that creation groans for restoration. Maybe it's part of this generation listening to the rhythms of creation. Broken but desiring good. Maybe this generation is like the modern Josiah of the Bible. Maybe shalom can be Heaven on Earth. Maybe restoration looks like all of these little choices.

This is my Father's World

Psalm 50:12

Hymnal lyrics by Maltbie Davenport Babcock

This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:
Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.

This is my Father’s world, dreaming, I see His face.
I ope my eyes, and in glad surprise cry, “The Lord is in this place.”
This is my Father’s world, from the shining courts above,
The Beloved One, His Only Son,
Came—a pledge of deathless love.

This is my Father’s world, should my heart be ever sad?
The lord is King—let the heavens ring. God reigns—let the earth be glad.
This is my Father’s world. Now closer to Heaven bound,
For dear to God is the earth Christ trod.
No place but is holy ground.

This is my Father’s world. I walk a desert lone.
In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze God makes His glory known.
This is my Father’s world, a wanderer I may roam
Whate’er my lot, it matters not,
My heart is still at home.