Monday, July 30, 2012

Reflection for the Week - July 30

One of the most significant questions we all face is – how can we be a ‘real’ self in the midst of the strong and influential currents of the modern and post-modern world? It seems evident that we all exist in time and story, so we are neither entirely transparent, nor completely opaque to ourselves. Unfortunately, our legitimate fears of being deceived may lead us to trust and embrace the ultimate authority self of modernity or the lost and alienated self of post-modernity, instead of finding a mediated place and space to be and be with others. The old modernist perspective that there are only facts and the new post-modern one that there are no facts only interpretations leaves us in the quandary of being either masters or slaves. In a diversity of ways, neither of these options fit, as they represent unrealistic polarizations, which by the way are always enticing, yet dangerously flawed. Let’s say a better formulation would be something like, there are only interpreted facts, as far as we know. This calls for a worldview of subjective objectivity, which allows us to know something of ourselves and reality. If this is the case, it means we will always be situated selves, but in seeing this we will find there is an open possibility for a trust in the Infinite One, who will not deceive and who frees us to be real. God’s gracious offer of creation, redemption, and new creation invite us to be truer selves, as we begin to live in his picture of trust and suspicion and his economy of exchange and gift. As a result, we will need God’s wisdom to help us have a clearer picture of who we are in the context and framework of a given life that is beyond us to control or define.