The future looks like the past…

“The future is around all of us, and it looks very much like the past.” – Mother Superior Sheeana, at the founding of the Orthodox School on Synchrony
[From: Sandworms of Dune, by Brian Herbert & Kevin Johnson; pg. 539.]
In the context of the book, the above is a positive statement. Again, in my mind, it brings up aspects of our present culture that work contrary to our future well-being. One of those aspects is a generation’s disposition to believe that the past is bad or a least a negative. I keep coming back to this 2,009 year-old thing we call Christianity. The past is full of horrific atrocities and glorious accomplishments, but all that humanity has been through over these past millennia within the Christian experience presents to us today, from that which has survived and still speaks, a wisdom that we need to pay attention to.
In my context, with our gasping attempts to save this Church we flail around with the same attitudinal mistakes that led us to this place. We think that in our modern and sophisticated age we can create with our own new thoughts in our own way the solutions for a new dawn, a new order, a Utopian vision of our own making. We fail to realize that the Tradition provides us with what we need as a solid foundation upon which to build, because within the lived experiences of people over thousands of years is wisdom. That which speaks to the deepest part of us remains, survives, and calls out deep to deep despite our tendency to look upon past understanding and experience as pedestrian, antiquated, primitive, unenlightened, and not up to the challenges of 21st. century existence. What has survived for 2,000 years will survive another 2,000 years. Technology changes (and I’m glad of that), but the human “heart” remains the same.
Our challenge is to see the wisdom in and understand the ancient-future process of steady re-formation within ourselves as we give ourselves to this faith, die to ourselves and live to the life God sustains. How do we do it in this time, within this culture, recognizing that our lives are of an ancient-future dynamic – we receive from ages of ages and pass onto world without end.