Monday, July 23, 2012

A Time for Reticence

I used to have a little resentment toward the blogsphere.  It seemed too accessible to be helpful.  It invited expression without reflection.  It encouraged anonymity.  It seemed to empower lazy thinking.

Recently, my marginal resentment has turned into grave concern.

I used to say sarcastically, "Want to see the underbelly of the human condition exposed to the world?  Read the comments section of any article on the major news websites."  Now, the same applies to so-called "Christian" blogs.  The hateful poison that seems to flow so quickly from the keyboards of posters is breath-takingly grievous.  It wounds my soul.  I used to think I wanted to eavesdrop on these "conversations."  Not anymore.

So, here's my bold proposal (ironically issued on my blog).  It's time for us to stop talking--or at least take a sabbatical.  Think about what that would mean?  In the sixties we impetuously burned vinyl records.  What if Christ followers refused to enter the fray of social discourse for a while?  Would anyone notice?

Jesus didn't act like he had much to say until he turned thirty.  Thirty years is a long time to think about what you're going to say.  We might choose our words more wisely if we had to wait thirty years to speak our mind.  What if we followed his example?  What if we said, "You don't have anything to say until you're thirty"?

Of course, such an attempt would be ludicrous.  The blogsphere is equally patrolled by the plus-thirty crowd--the older folks can dish out hate speech just as effortlessly as the twenty-somethings.  Age is no guarantee of temperance.  But, I have found the mature (regardless of age) to be a little more circumspect, a little more reflective, a little more reticent to speak their mind.  I wonder why.

Honestly, the older I get the more I'm convinced I have little to say.  Perhaps it's apathy ("he's shirking his responsibility to speak out").  Maybe it's a sign of the approaching, typical curmudgeonly ways of the elderly ("I've turned into a grouch").  It could be that I'm too proud to be associated with the cacaphony of voices competing for attention ("he acts like he's above it all").  All I know is I used to think everyone was entitled to my opinion.  Now, not so much.

I'm going off the grid for a while.  I need rest for my weary soul.

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