Where’s my hoverboard?

Where is my hoverboard?hoverboard2

Where is my flying car?

Where, oh where are the meals that I can magically summon from my home computer screen? Oh, wait a minute… sorry… I forgot about www.papajohns.com.

Remember all of the miraculous technological advances that we imagined were waiting for us in the Totally Mind-Blowing 21st Century? I was reminded about all of that when I saw a little blurb on the Today Show the other day demonstrating a prototype hoverboard under development somewhere in Europe.

It was cool and looked just exactly like the one ridden by Marty McFly in the movie Back to the Future. The only drawback was that this one had to run along a pre-existing magnetic rail buried in the ground. No grabbing the back of Biff’s bumper and hanging on for the ride, I guess.

The other bold prediction I remember about life in the future was that the standard work week was only going to be 25 hours and that all of us would use the rest of that time to pursue leisure activities, engage in fulfilling hobbies, and spend lots of quality time with our families.

What happened to that idea?

We do indeed have amazing, work-speeding, labor saving devices at our fingertips today. But instead of working shorter weeks and using the rest of the time as we darned well please, we are busily cramming more and more and more work into that same space.

And for that sad state of affairs, I partially… or maybe even significantly… fault The Church (universal) and ask: “Why didn’t the church do its job better?”

You might not see immediately what the church has to do with our 45, 50, and 55+ hour work weeks. But I do believe there is a BIG connection between today’s not-so-brave-new-and- hideously-overworked-world and the efficacy of the Body of Christ: It begins when we ask, not just, “Why do people work?” but. “Why do they work so MUCH?”

Many of us feel as if we have little to no control over the shape and size of our work life. We are given a lot to do and not much time in which to do it. We can be easily overwhelmed by the sheer amount of “stuff” that faces us every day.

But where does that pile of “stuff” actually start? It starts with the way we allow ourselves to answer the question, “What is necessary?” What is necessary to keep this part of the organization functioning and achieving its purpose? What is necessary to ensure the survival of this place that provides me with a wage and a sense of purpose?

Too often, however, I think we allow the JOB to define our worth and purpose as people… it is the old, “I am what I do” syndrome. And so when we spend time NOT doing that thing that gives us meaning and purpose it becomes a time we when do not have a sense that our lives necessarily have a meaning.

Ask anyone – especially a male – who has been unemployed for longer than three months what happens to their sense of worth and purpose while they are out of work.

And so (to cut to the chase here) that is where the church is called upon to do a much better job. See… the gospel of Jesus Christ announces to every one of us that our worth does not come from our jobs! It says that God’s love for us is utterly independent of our contribution to the Gross National Product. It is designed to reach out to those who live on the fringes of social class and offer hope, health, and meaning in abundance.

And so if we – as followers of Christ and believers in that word – have not boldly announced this Good News to folks in a way that brings them peace and joy – we have fallen short of our calling. We have failed those we are called to serve.

Sorry to end this on a “down” note, but my prayer is that we can hear anew God’s call to bring the Good News to “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth,” as we were originally commissioned.

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