I was kind of surprised today.
I like to ask the students I teach questions and so today I asked them who was their hero. They couldn't pick Jesus because that was too obvious. They had to pick someone from history, and you know what, the large majority, couldn't name one. The other day I asked another class the same question and their response wasn't a whole lot better, they by and large, chose actors.
When I say I was kind of suprised, I'm putting it mildly. I was shocked. I know something is up with that. There's got to be a reason.
It could be I guess that I didn't ask the question well, it's a Monday, whatever. Or it could be something else.
I'm trying to figure out exactly what and why it's so concerning to me...because it is.
I think part of the reason it concerns me is because Christianity requires us to look outside of ourselves, to be amazed by someone else; and I just wonder if what's happening in our culture is that we've become so self-focused, so inner-directed that it's hard for us to see anyone outside of us, anyone else as great.
The other day I was reading something Chesterton once wrote, and though he wasn't directly talking about this issue, and though he states things a little differently than I would, I still think it relates.
"Of all the horrible religions the most horrible is the worship of the God within. Anyone who knows anybody knows how it would work...That Jones should worship the God within him turns out ultimately to mean that Jones should worship Jones. Let Jones worship the sun or the moon, anything rather than the Inner light; let Jones worship cats or crocodiles, if he can find any on his street, but not the God within. Christianity came into the world firstly in order to assert with violence that a man had not only to look inward, but to look outward, to behold with astonishment and enthusiasm a divine company and a divine captain. The only fun being a Christian was that a man was not left alone with the Inner light, but definitely recognized an outer light, fair as the sun, clear as the moon, terrible as an army with banners."