Surviving An Omni-Aware Christmas
More than ever this Christmas season we are omni-aware.
We are, like no other time in the history of humanity, aware of all the good and all the bad in the world the moment it occurs.
Think about that …
We see every heroic act immediately …
creating all kinds of unintended heroes.
We see every violent act immediately …
creating all kinds of super villains.
And we have to metabolize and make sense out of all of it.
What I want us to realize is that it has not always been this way.
For instance, in 1989 I was on a bus with a soccer team from the United States sitting at the Olympic training center in Hong Kong. We were on our way into China to play a match against their national team. We sat on the bus for several hours without moving and finally were told to get off and go back into the training center. That afternoon we sat and watched uncensored television video of the tanks rolling down Tiananmen Square.
What is crazy is that what I saw in “real time” that day, much of the world did not see for days because of the censorship of television at that time.
That is not the case today … we do not even need television to be aware today.
As Leonard Sweet says, “We are living in a T.G.I.F. Culture!”
Twitter. Google. Instagram. Facebook.
These mobile technologies have made us instantaneously omni-aware of all the good and bad, evil and heroic moments that happen. And we experience all of this in real time all around the globe.
In any given day we will digest …
- An airstrike in the middle east
- A Tsunami in Asia
- A fire at a concert that kills 40 young people
- A dad who saves a boy from drowning
- A police officer who risks her life to save children at a pre-school
- A police officer that shoots an apparently innocent man
- Children who are being trafficked
- Parades for World series baseball teams
- New diseases from mosquitos
- New iPhones from Apple
When I think about our current culture, it feels like we are living in a comic book because we are globally aware of heroes and villains like never before.
And what often happens to Christians when we get a real-time look at the world is that we get depressed because it often looks like the Church is losing.
From our perspective, things do not look good for the Church.
So I give you this true story to offset the omni-aware moments.
A few years back CNN did a special from France about the 50th Anniversary of the allied invasion of Normandy. This battle marked the beginning of the end of World War II. In this interview CNN interviewed two elderly men who had been young soldiers and participated in the Normandy invasion.
The first interview was an infantry soldier, “We landed on the beach and I made my way through dead body after dead body … I saw my whole unit killed! I fought hand-to-hand combat paying a high price for every foot of territory. I looked all around me at all the dead bodies and I fell to my knees in defeat and I said to myself … there is no way we can win.”
The second interview was a reconnaissance pilot, “It was my job to fly over the entire area of the battle and then report back to the allied command everything I could see from my aerial perspective. And as I flew over the battle field with every hour I became more and more confident with what I saw and I said to myself … there is no way we can lose!”
As we continue to make efforts to make sense of this omni-aware world from our perspective I believe all heaven is looking down upon us saying, “If you could just see what we see! If you could see this world from our perspective you would see that the message of Christ is advancing every single day. And there is no way we can lose!”
I believe it’s our job as followers of Jesus this Christmas
to remind people about God’s view.
It is our job to help people who get to see ALL the good & ALL the bad instantaneously … to realize that God is still in control!
Yes, our world is taking on a different shape,
but God is the one shaping it.
The omni-awareness of this culture this Christmas gives us the opportunity to not only hear the “bad news” but also be a part of spreading the Good News of Jesus.