Is it either-or or is it both-and?
Leonard Sweet describes it as the swing affect. When you hit the apex of the swing on the playground, you have to simultaneously kick forward and lean back. You reach this moment of pure balance where you’re trying to both kick into the future while remaining in the past.
It’s impossible to maintain, though. Eventually everything reverses itself.
My relationship with the Church and religion has always been a strained one. Needless to say I’m largely unhappy with the church in America today. I want it to change, I want this desperately. I want to move into the future. But at the same time I find myself remaining in the past. Why? Because two thousand years ago our faith was reformed by the one person who best understood what it ought to be. I believe that the early church had to have some wisdom because the founders actually knew Christ. But, at the same time, the wisdom that led them through the founding of our faith may not have any application to today’s society.
The past, the future, that one moment of pure balance lost in the downswing.
I believe there is something inherently good about tradition because it connects us to the millions of years of history that our world has gone through. We need to learn from generations past if we don’t want to have to make all of the mistakes that they made to gain that wisdom in the first place. Yet, at the same time, one must acknowledge that tradition for tradition’s own sake becomes useless. Have you heard the one about the woman that always cut the ham in half because her grandma did? Then grandma says, “I only did that because my roaster was small.” Without knowledge of the “what for” tradition is empty, a meaningless gesture, without any real value but a massively huge cost.
The future, the past, blurred in the upswing.
At the end of the day, all I know is that I know nothing. I thrive off intuition.
I often get things wrong.