I have a game I like to play with my kids (fully grown adults at this point), and admittedly, they roll their eyes every time I start. It goes like this: “In my lifetime”, and then I share some weird factoid, or momentous event that happened “in my lifetime” . Three examples:
- In my lifetime, the telephone has gone from a rotary dialer connected to a wall, to push buttons with big antennas to let you roam freely within your house, to thin portable devices with no buttons that have nothing to do with your house address, or actually being a phone for that matter.
- In my lifetime, rockets went to the moon with highly trained humans in the cockpit and could not have done it without them on board. Also in my lifetime, a rocket went back to the moon, and there was no human needed aboard. It successfully flew over 1 million miles to the moon and back with an empty cockpit.
- In my lifetime, a commercial airline flight that encountered fog at an airport could not land because the pilot could not see. Today, many land in zero visibility, with no input from the pilot. I remember how freaked out I was the first time I was in a plane that did it.
Make no mistake, fog is still a big problem – mainly for us as individuals. The fog rolls in as we face the intense nature of living in this world; as we attempt to apply logic to seemingly illogical events. In the face of it, phrases like “Does Not Compute”, or “Danger Will Robinson” come to mind (those were also first uttered in my lifetime). Fog slows us down, boxes us in, inhibits action, invokes fear.
Of course, we are all aware that technology is the answer to why a rocket can fly around the moon with no human aboard, or why a jet can land without the pilot needing to see anything out of the window. Computing, and satellites, and radar; the list of technological mechanisms to overcome problems like fog is long, at least as it relates to weather related fog.
As it turns out, technology cannot be a solution to how you feel when you lose someone in life or to death; when you fail, or even when you succeed but can find no meaning in it. Much can be and has been said around this and I do not intend to add to that, I merely make the comparison.
Technology in its multiple forms provides a collection of inputs to a jet that allow it to land successfully. It is also true for humans on an earthly journey that we need multiple inputs in our lives to live with clarity in the midst of the fog.
- Being in community, and having personal time
- Sharing common beliefs, and engaging in diversity of thought
- The peace of love, and the challenge of loving
- Serving others selflessly, and receiving blessings with grace
- Accepting when things are beyond your control, and also accepting your own strength and the need for it
Ands are crucial in life. Ands bring opportunity and freedom. Ands overcome the limits of fog and can bring us clarity. Contrast it to Or. Or creates limits. Or restricts growth. Or intensifies the fog.
For everything the last 3 years have thrown at us, and for the surprises and difficulties 2023 is likely to bring, my wish for you is more Ands.
May you have a Merry, Happy, Celebration of Your Faith, or and a Happy New Year.
-Alan Pyle, CEO