forward reminiscence – part 2
History skips along like a stone on the water.
It’s instinctual and automatic. What happens when we find ourselves on the shore of a lake? (Kids love to do this.) We pick up stones and throw them into the water. There’s something therapeutic about it. In no time, we’re on the hunt for the flattest stone we can find. Can we beat our personal record? I think mine is 7. The Guinness world record is 40. How many times can we skip that stone across the surface of the water? It is this image that has really helped me to understand how history repeats itself and how its reoccurring messages echo over generations.
The first time that stone touches down it hits the water with great force and speed, causing waves and disturbances. The ripple effect is strongest at this first encounter. This represents a new event, idea or shift in history that is remembered over time. These are the things the historians document. These are the times and seasons that the prophets speak to. It seems whenever there is a significant event in our collective experience people will write or speak about it. The poets and artists will capture it. The intellectuals will philosophize about it. In fact, I believe important messages are tied to these kinds of events and we would be wise to pay attention, especially if that rock touches down again in our own generation.
It will strike again. As that stone lifts up and out, time passes. People forget what happened. Years lapse. Decades. Centuries. The stone flies through the air hovering over the surface of the water, waiting for gravity to bring it down again. It will hit another generation in different times and places, but the cycle repeats. Will this new generation that is experiencing the “stone” recognize its origin? Will they look back through the pages of history to see if this has happened before? Will they search out the ancient wisdom of the prophets and sages of old, their precious words from works of antiquity? Some will. The young prophets and poets of this new generation will speak to their people. But will they be heard? History tells a different story. The events play out just as the “stone” predicted, before it rises again to one day fall on another unsuspecting generation.
My own journey has taught me to go back to these moments in time. These important historical events are hot spots of seismic activity in the landscape of the past. They contain important truths for us to uncover. I’m talking about things like The Fall of Rome, The Protestant Reformation, The Renaissance, The Age of Discovery, The Enlightenment Period, The Industrial Revolution, and the Information Age.
This is the approach that I took in writing my book Jesus has Left the Building. It was an honest search for precedence. Had God ever left the building before? Had God ever walked out on religion because it had lost its way and had become something not to be associated with? In my book, I looked into Biblical history to discover that God had indeed left the building several times and that most of the Hebrew prophets were focused on this theme.
Well, this is what is meant by the term “forward reminiscence.” This blog will document my thoughts about what is happening in our day in the light of what has happened before. I want to navigate these exciting and frightening waters of our times to find hope. I believe that together we can create a better world for our kids and their kids. But we’re going to have to think differently. We are going to have to understand the times and know what we need to do.
Will you join me on this journey of discovery?