So you’ve heard that we live in postmodernity? Wrong. I’m here to tell you today that we live in a world of over-articulation.*
It’s true. Well, perhaps I do and the rest of you live in that postmodernity land.
The access to social media and the opportunity to blog and the fact that I’m a little too excited about following photography blogs means that a large slice of my day/thought processes/is centred on the idea and calling that you need to express about your life. To articulate it beautifully. Share frustrations. Share hopes. Share funny commentary, share beautiful trees that happen to be in your own front yard:
This is so much pressure! What if I’m just adding noise to an already noisy cacophony**?
And while there is so much wonderfulness about the opportunity for me, for us to share what’s going on with our lives, it carries a certain expectation that your life is worth writing about. Or taking photos of.
Of course it is, but I’m still brought to a halt when I think about the shortcomings of what I invest my time in. Of who I am. Of the words that I share with those around me from day to day. Of the cause that I want to be part of. I feel frustrated and somewhat disappointed that the life I’m living is only a shadow of the faith that I want, the example that I want to demonstrate, the encouragement I want to be a source of.
But I was just reading psalm 102 and a few versus struck me:
But you, LORD, sit enthroned forever;
your renown endures through all generations.
13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to show favour to her;
the appointed time has come.
14 For her stones are dear to your servants;
her very dust moves them to pity.
15 The nations will fear the name of the LORD,
all the kings of the earth will revere your glory.
16 For the LORD will rebuild Zion
and appear in his glory.
17 He will respond to the prayer of the destitute;
he will not despise their plea.
18 Let this be written for a future generation,
that a people not yet created may praise the LORD:
19 “The LORD looked down from his sanctuary on high,
from heaven he viewed the earth,
20 to hear the groans of the prisoners
and release those condemned to death.”
21 So the name of the LORD will be declared in Zion
and his praise in Jerusalem
22 when the peoples and the kingdoms
assemble to worship the LORD.
Regardless of my own insecurity and worry that even after 10 years of uni I still haven’t worked out what I want to do with my life, something gets to me about how your life can map something out for a future generation, for those who aren’t yet born so they can know Jesus. The fact that God is powerful and is the saviour of those who are afflicted. That he is a God of justice and freedom….
Holy Heck. How I want my life to be one that can be written for a future generation, even if it is just my own…
This psalm was written by one who wasn’t in a good place. He was in the midst of trouble, fainting, and pleading before his God. Check this:
Hear my prayer, LORD;
let my cry for help come to you.
2 Do not hide your face from me
when I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me;
when I call, answer me quickly.
3 For my days vanish like smoke;
my bones burn like glowing embers.
4 My heart is blighted and withered like grass;
I forget to eat my food.
5 In my distress I groan aloud
and am reduced to skin and bones.
6 I am like a desert owl,
like an owl among the ruins.
7 I lie awake; I have become
like a bird alone on a roof.
In the haze of torment and despair, he knew of God’s faithfulness and the wonderful complicated and compelling joy it is to follow in his footsteps and allow your life to proclaim his.
I think quite often I get so caught up with questioning if my life means enough (or at least, something that’s worth writing about), that I don’t actually remember to get on with it.
When the psalmist’s life was a mess and he didn’t have anything to blog about his own achievements, he spoke of God’s instead…
Perhaps this then is something worth articulating today.
“Let this be written for a future generation,
that a people not yet created may praise the LORD……”
What is your life writing for a future generation?
* I am acutely aware of my own hypocrisy articulating frustration about over-articulation through a blog entry. I hope you will forgive me and put it down to playful irony…
**(Jarring, discordant sound; dissonance = good word)