Saturday, October 11, 2014
WHAT ARE YOU FOLLOWING?--by Linden Malki
We are all following something. It might be a person, it might be an idea, it might be a philosophy, it might be a fashion, it might be some sort of wishful thinking. We can see the results of this around us. Right now we are seen horrific pictures of people following someonr claiming to be the rightful Caliph (successor to Muhammad) and intending to bring the world in line with Islamic law. Actually, there are a number of followers of Muhammad, each following a slightly different tradition of Islam, each offering a leader, a cause, a way to better follow the Koran.
Modern media has brought us a great number of things we can follow. For example, there are musicians, each appealing for followers to listen and buy their music. We have technology that allows continuous soaking our brains with music in a wide variety of styles, each with their own attitude and influence, and their own group of followers.
There are sports teams with their own followers--the leagues and their teams are designed to encourage followers who will buy tickets to their games, merchandise with their logos, and stuff advertised by sponsors paying lots of money to advertise on the coattails of the games. We are currently seeing the team organizations struggling with the behaviors of the players, asking how much responsibility they have for the examples set for their followers.
There are politicians looking or followers who will buy into their visions of the ideal societies, each with their own motives of power, money, influence. Some of them want to point their followers to what they claim is a better way of life; some of them use their vision for their own enrichment or power trips.
There are writers and artists creating heroes and villains for fans to follow; books to buy, movies to see, games to play, alternate realities to soak up our time and money. How do we judge the health of these examples for us and our children?
Every day we choose what examples we will follow; what we will wear, what will we eat, where will we go, what will we do. Every culture from the village to the world has leaders and followers. Almost everything people follow has human beings at the back of it. Where else can we look?
Billions of people believe that there is a power in the Universe larger than human beings. What does this look like? We believe that the Creator of the Universe has made Himself known to us, and that He has provided ways for us to know how to follow Him. There have been many people in the history of the world who have claimed to be speaking for a supernatural Power. We as Christians believe that God Himself has come to us, lived with us, and died for us, and we can have a relationship with.Him. We are engaged in life-long effort to understand Who He Is, and what it means to follow Him.