When I was in high school and college, my least favorite subjects were science and math; my favorites were English and History. Maybe it was simply the artistic and stylistic use of words and the mysterious past that captivated me. All I know is that both areas of study brought me deeper into a rich world that preceded the human being known as Andrew Voigt.
Some of the greatest and most powerful stories are true accounts of the past, reminders that life, brokenness, struggle, hope, and meaning have been around since the beginning of humankind. Whether it’s Martin Luther King, Jr. or the reformist Martin Luther, we can learn so much about what it is to be human through their stories of strength, perseverance, and suffering.
Whenever I watch a film about Nazi Germany, I cringe to think that such a society once embraced a monster like Hitler. “What were they thinking?!?! Why did they stand behind a genocidal maniac? At least we’re not making those same mistakes in America”…as we watch millions of our unborn being slaughtered in the name of false “freedom”. Even Hitler can’t top the numbers of the horrendous American genocide.
How blind we are when we refuse to examine ourselves in the mirror of human history…
Our society, particularly Generation X and the Millennial Generation, has treated history and the past as mere fiction. Instead, we like to consider our present world more “enlightened”, as if we have solved the most difficult moral, scientific, spiritual, and philosophical questions of the entire human existence. We ignore history, pretending that we’ve figured out a better way to do things.
I watch many young adults abandoning the belief in the spiritual, despite the reality that science has never once disproved its existence. We’ve believed that science eliminates our need for God, when in reality, science points towards the belief that intelligence MUST have been behind this whole thing. Do you really believe that a mistake caused by gas and a slimy rock in space brought about this complex creation? I’m sorry, but that takes more faith to believe than to believe that an Intelligent Being was behind it all. And yet, our youth say they’re “enlightened”. They don’t need God anymore. In their eyes, they are gods of science and beacons of enlightened understanding.
It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again, expecting different results. Maybe that’s why our world has gone mad; we’ve been trying to replace the immaterial (the spiritual reality) with the material (the physical reality) for so long that we’ve lost our minds in the process.
“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.” – James 1:22-24
We look in the mirror of history, yet we walk away, completely ignoring that which we know to be truth.
As a follower of Jesus, I have seen too many religious youth (that term “religious” is the first problem) listening to God’s Word (truth that has existed for much longer than our fleeting existence), yet never living it out in real life. Then, as they grow older, they say, “That whole Jesus thing never really made a difference in my life.” Well no duh! That’s like buying a membership at the local gym, watching others work, eating pizza, and then saying that the membership didn’t help with getting in shape! Ludicrous!
Children see nothing special about the smart phones we carry in our hands, yet that was mere fiction in 1990. To the 16 year old Andrew Voigt, the iPhone is magic; to the 32 year old Andrew Voigt, the iPhone is a necessity. It’s incredible how much we take for granted, ignoring history and the journey of the human race.
Seriously, are we ever going to learn? Is humanity so indifferent to truth, justice, love, and the spiritual that we have become hardened to what it really means to be human?
Have you shut your mind off to the past, only embracing what makes you feel good in the present?
What do you believe and why? Seriously, why? Have you ever even asked yourself that question?
Who do you long to become and to whom do you look in history as an example to follow?
May we begin looking in the mirror, seeing ourselves through the lens of the past, and envisioning a better future from the examples of lives once lived.