Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry."

Quote in the title from Brooks Hatlen in a letter to Red from the movie The Shawshank Redemption.  This was Brooks' observation of the outside world after he had spent the majority of his life in prison. 

My goodness I haven't been here in awhile...Christmas and Theophany have passed and somehow we are already half way through the first month of 2012.  I don't know about you, but I feel like someone has slammed on the accelerator and suddenly we racing towards *something* at break-neck speed.   Something doesn't feel quite right, everything is maddeningly fast and angry .  To quote St. Anthony of the Desert, who we remember today:

"A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"
I've witnessed this first hand.  People are genuinely surprised when you "do the right thing". A few years ago, I noticed on the way back to my car from a grocery store that I had not been charged for 1/2 gallon of milk.  So, I did an about face and returned to the store to pay what I owed.  The guy behind the counter shook his head and spoke to me in a really demeaning manner like I was an ignorant person for coming back and paying for the milk. Now I wasn't expecting to receive a medal for paying what I owed (well...truth be told, a nod of thanks would have been nice), but I also didn't think I would be treated with contempt.  Crazy I tell you, just crazy.  Politicians are cheered for their excessive use of the death penalty, and others jeered for suggesting that we use the Golden Rule (treat others as you would like to be treated) in our foreign policies.  Huh?

So back to the acceleration thing.  I don't know, maybe it's the constant inundation of information from TV and the Internet that makes things feel like we are in state of  perpetual hurried-ness.   There is no room for patience in this new world we find ourselves in.  There isn't even the time to practice patience, and anyhow, patience is for the weak.  We must frame an opinion or make judgment quickly on events. Your inability to do this in a "timely" manner must mean that you have a low IQ, or maybe you are depressed, or perhaps psychotic.  Whatever it is, you are not normal. Oh and by the way, there is no place for history now.  History is a waste of time!  Yesterday was version 2.0 and today is version 3.0 which obviously must mean that 2.0 is inferior and obsolete.   What's that?  You are still using the 1.0 version?  To your face, I'll call you quaint, but behind your back, loser.  You can only win with 3.0.  I may have to un-friend you for fear of being associated with a 1.0.  I could lose my job you know.

Sorry if this post (my 100th actually) was a bit of a bummer, but again, I don't have a very comfortable feeling about this year.  Neither seatbelts, nor airbags nor version 4.0 will not be enough to protect us from whatever it is this world is hurtling towards.  And as for this whole Mayan 2012 thing, which if I understand it correctly, the world will have some new "consciousness" and it will be all good, I don't buy it for a second.  This "universal influence" would be usurping a human being's ability to make decisions and exercise free will.   Sounds like a Hitler situation to me.  Or in biblical jargon, an Antichrist situation.  No thanks, I'll pass.  I'm sticking with 1.0. 

So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God." Matthew 19:17
Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; In that very day his plans perish. Psalm 146: 2-4

I think my next bunch of posts will be on repentance.  Our whole life in the Orthodox Church is to be filled with this, so there is lots and lots to be quoted.        




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