Here’s my guess: it says we are slouching ever closer to that Gomorrah known as the one world culture.
You’ve heard, watched, or been subjected to that internet meme: “What does the Fox Say?”
(Click over; if it’s new. I’ll wait.)
And, now, with that catchy little rhyme and those strange masks in your head. Consider the fact for a certain portion of last week, the first week of June 2014, the Wikipedia page for that song was the top trending story for the entire planet.
Now, here’s the point: what does that mean?
This is where the world needs not just skill, but creative inspiration to help make meaning from that little bit of data. Making meaning means taking a contextually specific stand about something that matters to you. Or, said simpler, it means looking at your life and your world and making a judgment call about how something matches or doesn’t.
So, for many of us, the Fox doesn’t mean all that much or even really matter all that much.
However, and here’s my point, the difference in this new post-post world is we have the opportunity to discover the context we thought mattered – culture, history, religion – matters differently.
These holy three used to define people’s worlds, but no longer. People today need to develop their own skill at making meaning, divining how some new bit of data, connects with the context of their lives, and leads to new understanding.
It could almost be a math equation:
Internet fox + my life (context) = meaning (understanding)
Making religious meaning used to be the sole or largely so, responsibility of those in traditional roles of church leadership, but no longer. As people, learn to navigate the informational tidal wave, they must either learn to swim or be washed away.
The challenge people of faith face is how to make meaning using some of the traditional markers of faith, which can feel very confining in a world so awash in newness.
Teaching people the skills of meaning is one of the great challenges all of the world’s faith traditions face.
The Christian response is that each life has meaning, because of the shared meaning found in Jesus the Christ. Said, another way, each life matters, because God cares enough to love.
Today’s challenge is not getting information into the hands of the faithful, but rather to help people of faith learn to make meaning within the various contexts that they find their lives.
So, what do you think? How do you make meaning in this world today?