Humans are often busy creatures. Active. And activity leads to movement, which in turn represents progress. We aim to leave the world a better place.
There is an undeniable aspiration towards progress. Be it in medicine – to conquer disease and or eliminate suffering, or in science – to find new technologies that make life easier and more enjoyable, or in morality – to empower the previously marginalised so they can become their best selves. Even footy can be ‘modern’. Progressive politicians and leaders use phrases like: “we now know better”, “moving forwards” or “on the right side of history”.
Is all modern activity movement that represents progress? Are we leaving the world a better place? In some areas – yes. The recent revulsions against abuse, or domestic violence, or racism are to be applauded. Anti-cancer treatments are a welcome development.
In another sphere, the answer is no. COVID 19 is a result of humans sourcing food in worse ways. Are we better at managing the earth’s finite resources? Does all modern art or music represent progress? I think not.
Still, in other spheres, modern activity represents neither progress nor regression. Things are different, if not more complex. Have bigger houses made us happier? Has access to the World Wide Web made us wiser? Is the modern diet healthier?
The idea that all movement represents progress is a myth. Progress only comes when we are moving towards a greater good. Put another way, if the human storyline is “moving forwards”, it only does so as it moves towards God, within the guidelines and principles that govern God’s creation.
Is there activity in your life? Does it result in movement? What (or who) are you moving towards?
Rev David Rietveld
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