18 March 2008
The Dirt and Snowflake Principle.
Some posts I mull around for days and days before I actually write them. Some just come flying out as I rant with my fingers clicking the keys on the keyboard. You're not likely to tell the difference in the execution of my writing. I have grown careless in my old age. I suppose that it is proof of my rebellious nature. I resented having to learn to write in APA, MLA and Turabian styles. It would be so much easier if there was one style to learn. A common expectation among disciplines is that you're going to have to write a paper, but one style of writing and documenting sources will never do. Or so it appears. If you ask me it is just one more way we try to separate, categorize and distance ourselves from others.
In the United States we value our individualism above all else. Striving to be recognized individually while desiring to be part of a herd has us conflicted. I think this is why we struggle so much with being offended. We want acceptance and yet, we want to stand out on our own. We want our autonomy as long as we can be autonomous with others who are just like us enough not to make us feel singled out for our difference.
Somewhere between the Great Generation and the Boomers the idea of living in community has been lost. The Great Generation had it and they lived their lives accordingly. I am a Boomer and I know it was taught to me, but I am not certain that I did my job instilling this idea in my children. Perhaps we can blame the advances in technology occurring quicker than our moral compasses can keep up. When survival was more difficult, there was a greater sense of community. We treat our neighbors better when we might need their help. We are less likely to care what they look like or what their socio-economic status is when we need them for our survival.
In the women's bible study I attend on Tuesdays, we have been talking a bit about our prejudices and preferences. We talked about how we all have presumptions about people and generally look for clues and proof that we were right in our surface, intuitive assessments. It is good to be with Christian women who are willing to look at their lives and their beliefs and line them up with Scripture. When we understand the depth and magnitude of our sinfulness, we know we have no basis to judge others. We are all made from the same dirt and are all in need of the same gospel to save us.
I have talked about this before, but it bears repeating. Have you ever wondered why God made us from dirt? I have. I think about it often. He could have made us from anything he wanted. Heck, He could have made us from nothing at all. Instead, He made us from dirt. There is everything from poop to gold in dirt. Ever look at dirt under a microscope? We are all at our base, the same, made from the same dirt and have the same need for salvation. We are common. We struggle with the same things- no one of us struggles with something that isn't common to another (1Cor 10:13). We bring nothing of value with us when we stand before God, nothing of our own. We who are saved have no idea who God's elect are and thus should treat everyone as if they are His.The playing field is even when we think biblically. We're as common as dirt and as unique as snowflakes.