Getting it wrong

What a crazy holiday so far….so many things going wrong and other things miraculously going very right! Anyway, so I’m reading this book and thinking a lot (as usual). The book I’m reading is by this guy who does many social experiments to find out how humans think and react. Most of our actions are irrational in terms of weighing up things and making choices, and how the economy is based on predicting that we are rational thinkers, but he proves that this is not the case. Either way. This one experiment he proves that we respond to change, in physical and emotional terms. When things change all the time we notice them, we get used to the monotiny. The simple application being a massage, an hour long massage is not as fun as a 30min one where the massues takes a break and then starts again, simply because there’s change. Other applications revolve around romantic interests, vocation and life choices. Other things work physiologically, as in the case of hearing. When there is a constant noise we get used to it, but as soon as something changes we hear it again. That’s why we are more bothered by the persistant dripping of one tap than by rain, in which the sound is more constant and predictable. This works to warn us of things as well, when a sudden new smell comes up we might become aware of a gas leak, or that our food is burning, and when touch on our skin is sudden it might indicate pain or a change that our body needs to make us aware of.


So me….always thinking a bit about life and taking things further….I’m thinking more and more that we, as human beings, are getting it wrong. Everything. We build our lives around safety, security, financial stability, job stability, emotional stability, building bigger fences, buying more houses, bigger cars. Our parent’s generation (I’m in my early 20’s, do the maths…) got married early, started a job, planned for the future and built carreers. Our generation get married later, run from commitment (whether relational or in terms of staying in one job/place too long) We don’t want the lives of our parents. We want to travel, be free… Yet we need to think in terms of securing a future and a job. All the while our hearts hungering for more…

Then I look at the Bible. Their communal way of life. Their nomad way of life. And I think. We got it wrong. I don’t know what’s right, I just think we might be getting it wrong. Maybe we aren’t made for safery, commitment and 10 year plans… God always asks to trust Him in the now. To have faith. He rarely lays out the 10 year plan, yet guarantees our safety and the safery of our hearts. Then I think….maybe our entire world system is wrong. Settling down. Settling for less. Working for your olden day then retiring, wishin you had something to do and money to do it with. Depression as the trendy new illness that rears its head in our democratic, 1st world, individual-based societies. Boredom. Adultery, drugs, sex…anything to add a little excitement. To stray away from the monotony.

Is this what God intended?

Is this how he made us?

Could our marriages be more healthy if we risked adventure together, if our hearts and lives kept changing, growing, our dreams evolving daily? Could depression rates take a downward turn of we lived more communally? If we took care of each other? If the lines between mine and yours blurred? Could we be happier, our hearts more alive if we simply lived differently? If we stopped trying to control the world, mass produce, build over every beautiful space that nature provides us with? Could we be healthier and we stressed less about our old age and shared our resources between everyone? Why aren’t we taking better care of our lives? Why did we get stuck in this system? Could more people turn to God if we dropped the idea of “sunday church” and church became a way of life again instead of something you do or something you belonged to? What if we tried to live like the people in Acts? When did being Christian become about safety and rules?

I’m so excited for the up and coming generation. For people living differently. Christians and non-Christians alike, young people are thinking in a new direction. Being a woman is becoming about more than having children and finding a husband. Being a nurturer about more than having children… Being a man about more than providing for only your family, about more than being forced to conform to rules, leaving your passion, your heart, your inherent wildness in the wake…?

Like I said, I don’t have the right answers, but I think I’m starting to ask the right questions…


4 Responses to “Getting it wrong”

  1. 1 John Desember 24, 2010 om 3:41 nm

    Karlien, everything you have just said is the same questions that I’ve been pondering about in 2010. What is life really about? Is it about finding the right job, the right woman, have children and settle down? If that’s all that there is to life I might as well die right now!

    Yes, I do want to find the right lady, yes I do want to have children one day, but the settling down and living a comfortable, risk-free life in suburbia does not gel with me.

    I think a lot of what you are saying is the heartcry of our generation. There is an awakening around the world of young men and women that desire to return to a simple way of life. A life that finds it’s truest expression in community. A life that is not defined by money in the bank, status and the equisition of more and more stuff, but rather a life that counts for something. The “American Dream” has become the “American Nightmare!”

    But thank God that there’s hope and that hope is found in the gospel! The simplicity of Jesus’ message calls us to live the kind of life that we are yearning for. It calls us to adventure, it calls us into community, it calls us to mission. This message is just as relevant as it was 2000 years ago. The challenge for us is to embody this message. Once this message is realized and lived out amongst Christ followers it will be so attractive to the outside world that people won’t be able to resisit it’s message.

    I’ve got the answer to your questions Karlien. It’s the gospel! A gospel that we have to choose to believe everyday of our lives. For it is the very power of God unto salvation as the apostle Paul told the Roman believers. Because as we live in this consumer driven world where it is about me myself and I, the gospel cuts to the heart of this reality. And I find myself day by day having to believe the gospel because it is easy to be sucked into the mindset of this world.

    So keep asking these pertinent questions Karlien. It would be nice to have a discussion around this when you are back in Cape Town.:)

    Now go back to enjoying your holiday!

  2. 2 tsholo Januarie 3, 2011 om 9:01 vm

    @Karlien Amen
    @John Amen

    had the same questions through 2010 and also came to the conclusion that the only way to make any sense out of this world is to look to Christ.

    Christ is the only way to really live life and live it in abundance. longing for more of him in 2011.

    great post Karlien.

  3. 3 Cara Februarie 5, 2011 om 11:25 vm

    Yes, great post.
    I promised someone once that if we meet again in 15 years and one of us discovers that the other has a white picket fence, 2.4 children and a 9 to 5, they would have licence to break in and poison them or something.

    And now suburbia makes more sense; security seems such a neccessity; working on raising a little nuclear family looks meaningful and fulfilling… and yet sometimes, for a moment I gain perspective and I wonder if / hope that God has something else in store for me, and that my ears will be open enough to get the message.

    Thanks for the reminder. We should chat, K. You hold so much of what I never want to forget to be.

  1. 1 Reads of the week – 2011 – 1 « Hope In Love Terugskakeling op Januarie 8, 2011 om 12:21 vm

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