Have you seen those TV programs or on-line collections of advertisements and fashions from past decades? Sometimes the styles and fashions of the past look funny to us now. Other times, those styles and fashions return to popularity. Or perhaps you have seen advertisements from the past that are totally inappropriate today. How times change!
In my lifetime what has been viewed as beauty has changed radically from one decade to another. How about the way we do business? I remember being issued my first Portable Computer. It weighed about 40 pounds, had no internal memory, only worked from 5-1/4” disks, and took about 20 minutes to boot-up. It was so cool! (I snicker under my breath).
Or, when I got my first mobile phone. It was a handset with a wire connected to a large control box behind the seat of the truck. It only worked in a few areas where there were radio towers available (which wasn’t many places). But it was so cool! (Well, you know).
The old is pushed-out by the new, and the old usually seems ugly to us. How many Commodore 64 units managed to avoid the landfill? How about fashions? How many original Seersucker suits still exist? We tend to throw-away the old when the new appears.
What has been viewed as the ideal physical appearance for an individual has also changed frequently. Remember when the model “Twiggy” was projected as the ideal figure for a woman? Humans can be fickle creatures. When we are told what is “in” we are ready to jump on-board with the new and throw-out the old.
Unfortunately, we tend to do the same thing with other humans. We decide who is good-looking, or not. We decide who is deserving, or not. We decide who is worthy or worthwhile, or not. Often the decision is not our own, but one handed to us by a perceived authority figure. We frequently decide who is “in” and who is “out” of the “club”.
Religious people are some of the worst at this. They will misinterpret little snippets of Scripture, often taken out of context, and develop a detailed argument for why they are justified in separating humans from one another. I believe religion may be the worst thing that ever happened to God!
I believe in spirituality, not religion. Spirituality allows you to read and research Scripture and history with your eyes open to seek real truth. Spirituality does not submit to what some possibly false teacher wants you to believe. Spirituality seeks to unite people, not divide and separate them. Our changing views of what is beauty, or value need to move toward breaking-down attitudes and practices that separate us.
Stop fighting. Start loving. To quote former counsellor Doris Bradley, “Where there is love, there is God.”
Blessing and Peace to You All,
Rev. Dr. David Bridges is the pastor at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Grove. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. St. Andrew's worship service is at 10 a.m., every Sunday, and broadcast on KWXC 88.9 FM at 5 p.m. on Saturday and 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.