Dr. Mark Chironna posted today:
“Cycles of history indeed do repeat themselves, and we are in one of those cycles. The current crisis in our society is usually an indication of a culture in collapse.”
He repeats what I’ve read from several historians. One historian lists five societal behaviors of the Roman Empire as it collapsed. Western culture presently matches all five. Chironna quotes 1 Chronicles 12:32:
“Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do. Two hundred chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command.”
Issachar has always been one of my heroes. He exhibited the tribe I wanted to be voted into. It is not enough to be a person who understands the times. We need people around us who also know what to do.
Needed: men and women who understand the times and know what to do.
Writer and political journalist (and Jesus follower) Kirsten Powers wrote a few days ago in the Washington Post that the words “thoughts and prayers” are sounding profane. Others expanded on her words to say we don’t need “thoughts and prayers,” we need action.
If we are “in the world, but not of the world,” some of us should have the Issachar spirit and gifting. Among the liberal and conservative ideas, solutions, strategies and call to “action” a Kingdom strategy should be seen and heard above the politics and agendas. A prophetic call is always a better idea than the status quo. It speaks of healing, forgiveness and a way forward.
Stephen Mansfield today issued a prophetic word about the gun issues.
“Fix the problem from within, or it’s going to get fixed for you from the outside.”
He added, “And you probably won’t like it!”
Hurricanes, earthquakes, wars, rumors of wars and a laundry list of cultural battles. And we can name every one of them. Harvey, Maria, NFL, “Knee,” and now Vegas and another storm heading for the Gulf Coast on the weekend. The heart-gripping trauma du jour. “What next?!”
Not having any control and the anxiety that one of these times the target is going to be on our backs, we face a question:
How do I shepherd my heart through this?
For forty years I pushed Inter-generational Sunday school & small groups. My family has pointed to that experiment as their best Sunday School experience. Granddaughter Hannah, now in college, is involved in an Inter-generational Sunday gathering and vocalizes what I knew was possible.
“How do we shepherd our hearts?”
1. Involvement in inter-generational, inter-racial, inter-culture gatherings.
2. Use of porches and decks and tables to talk, listen and share pain and dreams.
3. Personal quiet places to pray, think, listen to God’s ideas and views.
4. Discipline about amounts of news intake.
5. Plans for positive soul-sculpting—reading or audio books, positive music and a spiritual director.
6. Don’t call people names. Nancy Sinatra says that all members of the NRA should face firing squads. It is easier to call for the assassination of people who have never sat at your table or with whom you have not sought to understand. “Seek to understand before seeking to be understood.” (Stephen R. Covey)
What has worked in the past? What works for your maturing friends? Try it.
Not an exhaustive list. It is a call to Soul Tending
THE BENTON TABLE—
come put your feet under our table.
©2017 D. Dean Benton firstname.lastname@example.org