betraying the age

I love the lyrics from The World You Want by Switchfoot. If you don't know the song, check it, but the concept in a gist is that every day you change the world. Just because you're alive. The world is clay about your fingers, and whether you like it or not, you're forming it.

"what you say is your religion, how you say it-- your religion. Who you love is your religion, how you love is your religion, All your science, your religion, all your hatred, your religion, All your wars are your religion-- Every breath is your religion"

And it's an interesting concept. Especially for someone like me who isn't religious at all, only spiritual. But the point in those words is that everything we do, and everything that are, everything that we put out there is changing the world for better or for worse.

When I listen to Bono talk about betraying the age, quoting the poem The Book of Judas, from where I stole the above quote in the box up top, I feel like it has a lot to do with that. Like.. what is that one thing, that you know in your core is the thing you were put on this earth to blow apart? Because we all have something. Sometimes its not about school or career, it's about calling. Quieting down enough, and freezing everything enough to ask yourself the uncomfortable questions. 

Perhaps we weren't built for complacency. Maybe my generation's purpose isn't to become swallowed up by the ebb and flow of corruption and marketing, buying into whatever society-at-the-moment says we ought to be like/look like/talk like. Maybe adults see us as lazy, complacent, label-toting, video-gaming, Victoria's Secret/whatever the guy equivalent is wannabe models, texting addicts and soft, shallow minds because we've allowed ourselves to become that. (revolutionary thought, I know.) We've allowed the world and the money and the greed and the pressure created by it all to sway us.

And for me? That's it: complacency. The complacency of my generation-- that's what I want to betray, and that's how I want to serve the age, the world, the heavens-- the beautiful drink of the divine that that all is, stirred up together.

We don't help the poor because they are poor, we help the poor because we too are poor when they are. We thirst when they thirst, we starve when they starve. They're human, not a statistic or something we can experiment with charity on. And because they are human, we are connected-- we are part of them and they are a part of us. Or in other words, the philosophy of, in Nguni Bantu terms, Ubuntu, me-we, human kind's connection to one another and to the divine. Our dependence and reliance upon one another for survival at even it's most basic. Our need for love.

We are stories intertwined. With eyes that are positioned in our skulls to look out, not back at ourselves. I want to betray self-focus. 

Yesterday I sat in a waiting room and pulled two magazines off of a rack-- there were only two. One a Nat Geo special edition on the evolution of agriculture, issues revolving around world hunger, how developing countries are progressing or regressing in this area, and what things may look like ten years down the road. How 20% of the world consumes 86% of its resources, how our consumption of meat and our methods of agricultural distribution are actually hurting impoverished countries, what this implies, how we can change it, etc, etc.

The second was a T magazine special edition about Beyonce. And her 10,000 dollar outfits.

I think it's safe to say that our generation has lost track of what meaning even is. We are money driven, peer-pressure driven, drug driven and sex driven. We fancy ourselves the most intelligent beings on the face of the earth yet meanwhile we ignore the hungry, the sick, the oppressed. Even other species have proven themselves diligent in this area. 

We've allowed dollars signs, corruption, advertising, marketing, corporations and greed to sway and influence our ways of living and operating. We wear "in" clothes, go to "in" schools, read "in" (trash) literature and drive cool cars. We buy big houses, throw big parties, have big weddings and enjoy "our lives". While 18,000 people living in Africa will die each day, of preventable, treatable diseases. 

That's like 10 jetliners crashing. Every day.

While we're too busy focusing on ourselves, people-- kids are dying in preventable, stupid poverty for lack of food in their bellies, women are being oppressed by backward cultures and religions in which feminism is not embraced, human beings who are equal in every respect are still being ravaged by the scorch of racism and prejudice, the oceans, rain forests and resources of this planet are being raped and ravaged to the brink of sheer non-existence-- threatening our very ability to even exist here on earth.

The sight of expensive clothing, the taste of an over abundance of food, the sound of meaningless songs worshiping the god of blind consumerism, have become to be a permanent thorn in my side. If we ever allow ourselves to live within any belief system that somehow preaches to us that "this world doesn't matter" or that we can't change everything? Well, that's dead wrong. And we're dead wrong. And in fact, we're just lazy.

Because Jesus tells us we can change everything. I'm a follower of Jesus. I believe him when He told us to pray His kingdom come "on earth, as it is in Heaven". If we're not actively loving, and being freaking radical with that love? If we're not doing that? We're failing.

I feel as if this post is unfinished, and I would like to finish it. However, this topic is yet to be finished, because it's open-ended. These problems I've scratched the surface of here are deep, messes of things that we haven't solved. Things that we must solve if we truly wish to be who we were made to be. And that is love. We were made to be love.

As a storyteller, I really can't think of anything more important to allow Jesus to dedicate my life to. I want to tell that story. Their story. Love's story.

The story in which we betray the age.



  1. This is so true. In our world today, we've lost meaning as we're driven by our own needs instead of focusing on others. When you think about it, that really is pretty sickening. There are people oppressed, dying, and we're "too busy" accomplishing our own goals.
    What you've written here is really beautiful. You honestly have a way with words. :)

    MJ //

    1. I so agree with you, MJ, you're right on! Thanks so much (:

  2. I really enjoyed the honesty and depth of this post and I think that if people often took time to look beyond their own world than we would all be better off. Very nice post :)

    1. Thank you for your kind, encouraging words, Emily! Means a lot. I'll be checking out your blogs. (:

  3. Excellent, excellent post. People need to start caring about things that really matter and trying to make a positive difference. Because a difference will be made, and if it isn't positive, it will be negative. Love, people. Love your neighbor.

    1. AGREED, CJ. Right on. (: "Because a difference will be made, and if it isn't positive, it will be negative" <--- couldn't have said it better.


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