Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Leaves, New Lives

I recently read an interesting article about predictions for this new decade that came just ten years ago for the world of 2010 — and unless something drastic happens in the coming months, they're looking a bit optimistic.

Forecaster Faith Popcorn said 90 percent of all consumer goods would be home-delivered. The World Future Society said you'd have a wristwatch-type device that monitored your blood chemistry, while an implanted microchip in your forearm adjusted the lights and heating systems of any building you walked into. Arthur C. Clarke predicted we'd have portable quantum generators that drew on the power of space to give us unlimited clean energy.

Also predicted: school would be year-round and pre-school would be universal, everyone would have wearable computers and 7 percent of cars would be internet-enabled, and "Smellyvision" would allow you to smell cooking shows.

The funny part is, Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn starts out by saying these predictions are all for "the next ten years" — without mentioning they were made ten years ago. So as you read the list of predictions, you're left wondering just how plausible these predictions are for the year 2020. And in many cases, they seem at least somewhat believable. Does that mean the predictions were possibly accurate, but just too optimistic time-wise? Or are we just incurably optimistic ourselves?

So now that we’ve reached 2010, I have to admit that I find myself thinking along the same lines as these prognosticators...I am a little disappointed that we're not farther along!

When I was seven, I went to the Field Museum in Chicago. My parents took me there and I was blown away with a display of “Future”gagets! Now this was a long time ago, and much of what I saw was unheard of in that day and age! I saw a video phone that blew me away. Now such an admission probably dates me because I know that a videophone is no big deal in this day of Skype and smart phones and other communication tools. But to a seven year old, that video phone was straight off of an episode of the Jetsons. (Sadly, a reference that dates me as well) Anyway, I thought that we’d be flying around in our cars by now and enjoying other futuristic creature comforts.

So far, I am not seeing too much that is overwhelming me as more impressive in this new year than last! And while I am disappointed in where we are in technology and culture, what I am most disappointed myself. I thought I would be further along. I thought I’d be much different. In better shape physically, A more loving husband, A more patient father, A more balanced life. A bettter grasp of God’s Word! At a deeper level spiritually, so there is this deep sense of disappointment.

As I reflect on my progress, or lack thereof, in this new year (physical, spiritual, etc...) I am reminded of a song by the CCM group Caedmon's Call. The song is titled, "THANKFUL"

It's a simple reminder that God's grace is what brings us along. Instead of trying harder and mustering up will power to be better, I need to surrender to Christ and allow His life in me to make the changes that He desires.

By the way, here are the lyrics to Thankful!

You know I ran across an old box of letters
While I was bagging up some clothes for Goodwill
But you Know I had to laugh at the same old struggles
That plagued me then are plaguing me still
I know the road is long from the ground to glory
But a boy can hope he's getting some place
But you see, I'm running from the very clothes I'm wearing
And dressed like this I'm fit for the chase

'Cause no, there is none righteous
Not one who understands
There is none who seek God
No not one, I said no not one

So I am thankful that I'm incapable
Of doing any good on my own

'Cause we're all stillborn and dead in our transgressions
We're shackled up to the sin we hold so dear
So what part can I play in the work of redemption
I can't refuse, I cannot add a thing

'Cause I am just like Lazarus and I can hear your voice
I stand and rub my eyes and walk to You
Because I have no choice

I am thankful that I'm incapable
Of doing any good on my own
I'm so thankful that I'm incapable
Of doing any good on my own

'Cause by grace I have been saved
Through faith that's not my own
It is a gift of God and not by works
Lest anyone should boast