Home > Church, Faith, Relationships, The Life and Times of a Disenfranchised Christian > The Life and Times of a Disenfranchised Christian, volume vii: Where Have All the Authorities Gone?

The Life and Times of a Disenfranchised Christian, volume vii: Where Have All the Authorities Gone?

Maybe it’s part of getting older. Growing up, as we used to call it. One minute I’m surrounded by parents, teachers, pastors, leaders, older friends, and others whom I can trust as an authority – whose training or life experiences I can rely on at the very least as a reference point, if not as a reliable adviser for Life Questions. The next I find myself in a sea of opinions, circumstances and anecdotes which no one in front of me seems to know how to navigate. Perhaps it’s a shedding of naivete, that no one ever really knew how to answer difficult questions but either they acted like they did or I wanted to believe they did, or both. And perhaps it’s also a result of moving to another part of the country concurrent with the great isolating life event of having children which have collaborated to muddle all the clarity out of my worldview.

Has authority disappeared? Is there really no such thing? Is it really just the pontifications and affectations of people as confused as I? Or even engaged and sincere offerings from those whose advice is unknowingly incomplete?

I have known trustworthy people, people whose opinions of life I would still respect today even with hindsight. I have known no one who has Answers, those imaginary pithy truths that solve everything. Or perhaps I have, but I do not respect them for it. But I have known people who have had the answer for the moment, so to speak – a perspective, a challenge, or a line drawn through unconnected dots that have helped me to navigate crises and morasses. Have you thought about it this way. Try this instead, perhaps. People who even when they don’t have anything helpful to offer I still feel encouraged to have on my side.

Perhaps it is that I have grown older. That the authorities have not so much disappeared as made way for me. And perhaps one day again I’ll have people like this in my life more regularly. Once I’ve learned my part, that is.

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  1. Jane
    April 14, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Sounds like the transition stage from naivete to wisdom is taking place. I used to be told that the older you get, the less you know. Well, yes and no. The older you get, the wiser you become, and there’s just so much more to learn and the younger days of black/white thinking turns gray. Now there are just a few benchmarks of life to die for and life has become less complicated and chaotic.Hang on, you’ll get there.

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