The music, art, literature and movies that garner the greatest notoriety and acclaim are the ones that present the future as being a dystopia. We feel ourselves being disconnected despite our constant contact to others. We feel alone when surrounded by people. Our world, through the technology we've developed, is becoming increasingly small and that has done something to our sense of hope and promise in tomorrow.
The printing press, and the subsequent mass production of books, was the highest and most revolutionary technology the world had ever seen. The first book to roll off a press was the Holy Bible. It didn't take long however, for books like Thomas Paine's Age of Reason, Marx's Manifesto or the Third Reich's Mein Kampf to follow. It radically transformed the way both knowledge and ideas were spread. For better or for worse.
The computer, and more directly the internet, has done to our modern way of life what Gutenberg's winepress turned printing press did to medieval life. It has been inexorably transformed into something of an entirely new design. Our age is thoroughly digital. What's more this transformation took place in just a matter of years. In a short span of arguably 10 years (from 1994 to 2004) the digital age took hold, the computer and internet became ubiquitous and, somewhere along the way, we lost hope.
We're awash in social networking among the influential web presence of Facebook, MySpace, & twitter. We e-mail, network and "connect". Yet amidst it all our culture seems yet to maintain a very disillusioned and dystopic vision for the future. We don't feel as if we've improved anything but the frequency and efficiency wherewith we avoid each other and the difficult things about living life as a human being.
The current President of the United States ran his campaign on the slogan "Hope & Change". He was elected, one might argue, largely due, not to the American people's approval of his policies, but the offering he extended to them. Hope. Change.
Amidst all this I am comforted to believe that hope and change do not come from Washington D.C. Hope and change for tomorrow has only one source. The source throughout history, from the era of the American Revolutionaries to the Underground Railroad, that has given people hope for better days and the courage to exact change has been a genuine faith in Jesus Christ. It is my conviction that as I maintain my connection to that source I maintain my ability to boldly and purposefully encounter tomorrow.
The writers and singers may be right. The world isn't all that great right now. I cannot however, ascribe to John Mayer's philosophy and just wait for the world to change. I believe the world changes a little at a time, like the turning of a large ocean vessel, as each day another soul finds freedom from self and deliverance from sin through the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I believe that today and I believe that for tomorrow.