Friday, February 27, 2009

Phony Depression

The problem with the current “phony depression” is that real preparation for tough times is being put on hold; before it even starts. Christians should be getting ready for life in a different world. They should be getting into strong relationships with other Christians, so they can walk together through any crisis and still be strong. We should be learning how to live simpler by sharing and supporting others that we trust. Preparation is urgent.

We probably have less than a year to learn how to do this stuff, but all the negative talk has produced a false complacency. Too much “crying wolf” has made people unrealistic about what is required. Downsizing from a daily latte bowl to a flat white is not living simpler. Buying a few “less treats for the kids” is not serious preparation. People say they are cutting back, but most are just kidding themselves. The chatter about crisis has created a sense of unreality. Many are thinking:

If this is a depression,
I can cope.
Things are tight,
but I am alright.
Our complacency held back God’s ability to shape our nation and now it is preventing us from preparing the future. Complacency is dangerous, because it makes people unreal about the future.
Two young boys were playing beside a lake.
A few metres out from the edge was a small flat island,
an interesting place to play.
The water surface looked smooth,
so the boy decided to wade out to the island.
I warned them to be careful,
but the water looked calm,
so they plunged ahead,
but were soon up to their waists in mud.
They managed to struggle on to the island,
but they were shocked and bedraggled.
We are like those children. When warned of danger, we ignore the warnings and plunge ahead confidently, because things look good on the surface. Only when we are up to our waists in mess will we realise that something is wrong.

We are watching people in other nations struggle, but not thinking about the causes of their problems, and what they should be doing to prepare
A crowd was standing around watching a woman
staggering around and trying to stand up.
Only when those watching put their arms around her to hold her up,
did someone remember that she is a diabetic,
and get something sweet for her to drink.
The time for goofing around is over. New Zealand has less than a year to prepare.

Bruce Shepherd has some good advice. He is probably overstating the immediate risks, but what he said about communities is important. When someone from the ultra individualistic world of finance starts talking about building community, we should sit up and take notice.

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