Life is disappointing – our reality
Susanne and I went on a date night last night. We went to a nice theatre where you order from your seat and have dinner there while watching the movie. It’s great, a small theatre room and a good quality of people – not noisy or rude. We saw a proverbial “chick flick” – the kind you need to sit back, laugh a bit, enjoy and not go home having to unpack the story in your mind. We saw “Midnight in Paris”, the recent Woody Allen release. He’s always a touch risque but it was innocent for the most part, and the acting okay. What struck me, which should not surprise anyone who watching WA flicks, is that he delves into real life issues… such as this topic, “LIFE IS DISAPPOINTING”. Before you read on, I’m going to hit the main point below – so stop until you see the movie if you do not want to be disappointed…
As I watched the main character and then the others discover a longing for another idealistic time, only to discover they longed for a time before them. The main character discovers that he is where all people go – disappointed in life, his life, the age in which he lives, etc. So today, we have the advantage of information and communication overload and technology is jumping faster than we can integrate and assimilate it. Yet, we also face some of the most formidable challenges ever: pandemics, Aids, Wars without end, terrorism, a financial system that WILL collapse and probably within our lifetime – not a recession, a collapse, families unraveling and the most shallow and meaningless culture ever to exist on the planet. It is easy to long for yesteryear.
I often reflect upon this when people embrace the nostalgia and pang in such ministries and organizations like Focus on the Family. While the basic premise of supporting and building families, I completely identify with, I am usually, okay always, turned off with the longing for yesterday… the Leave it to Beaver longing of such perfect history…. I always can’t help but poke the eye of those with these longings, and ask such questions as: Yesteryear when people of color would not be allowed to go where you go, or even be friends with you, when they were legally and systematically given 3d class citizenship? Or, when abuse was accepted, ignored and people resigned to spousal abuse and no one talked about it? Or when kids were sexually abused and we did nothing about it? Or when we institutionalized anyone with emotional and mental challenges? When we overtly behaved imperially on the global stage? When everyone went to church, but the world – our world – still went to hell in a hand basket and we inoculated them against the Gospel – the real Gospel?
I’m really not that cynical and toxic. BUT I guess I probably got you feeling those emotions of dissatisfaction. You see we all, we all, we all have those feelings and aches for things to be as they should be. It is a universal challenge transcendent through time, class, ethnicity and success or failure. We long for what we were created…. and will not, cannot achieve apart from that intention… We’re created for perfect relationship with God, with Christ. We only understand that within the constructs of religion, through the cultural baggage associated, through the experience we have personally…. Yet, we long.
Oh, to taste, the relationship as it should be, above and beyond the circumstances of our broken world… to experience it as it is intended without the consequences of sin that a broken world brings where we can see face-to-face and without the veil of today… one day, one day.