R. Adam Davidson
Saturday Morning Post
March 14 2009
Spring Arbor, MI
I’m sitting in the basement in front of three computer screens. One displays tomorrow’s 1st Service. The middle screen has a USA Today story on how people are 10% less spiritual than they were 18 years ago. The third screen is where I’m focused right now, writing my Saturday Morning Post in a little program called WriteRoom. Three screens. One person. Oh, and a Phil Collins record spins in the background, causing Lexi to rock out.
Let’s be all post-moderny and deconstruct the screens. Before we do that, though, allow me to give you some context. Thank you.
A typical Saturday doesn’t usually start me a-workin’ until the afternoon hours as Sunday approaches. This weekend is different because we’re getting ready to spend a week in Florida, a land flowing with milk and honey. The flowing milk, by the way, is Milk of Magnesia. I should also point out, as a parent, that Honey is not meant for children under 1 year old. Ask any bear-shaped bottle of honey and you’ll see the label from the Surgeon General: DO NOT FEED TO INFANTS. My assumption is that this will give children super stingy-like powers that could prove disastrous, especially on vacation.
Speaking of vacation, we’re going on one to the great state of Florida, which is where my sister and her first husband* have decided to set up shop and start their new life together. I would make a witty remark about how terrible it must be to start in such a desolate place like Palm Coast, but I’ll skip it for the time being and maybe come back to it later. I’m fairly confident that within my small number of blog readers (Hi, Mom), my sister could be one of them.
Yes, so we’re going on a vacation. To Florida. Florida is many miles from Michigan, so if you’re going to spend a lot of time in the car, you should probably make the most of it and stay for at least two weeks. We have decided to stay for 4 days which won’t be long enough. Let’s face it, though — is two weeks even enough? Before you answer, let me remind you of how “authentic” our Winter experience was here in Michigan. Remember how Mother Nature experienced a mood swing every 20 minutes, dumping a foot of snow on us and then apologizing with 63 degrees of Farenheit — in January, no less — only to slap us across the face with freezing rain as a punishment for enjoying it so much? Oh, I remember it well. Too well. Excuse me while I cry myself.
We’ve decided to go on a vacation to Florida. Flor-a-duh. Nice place. Since we will be gone for so long, I need to get some ducks in a row so I don’t freak out while I’m gone, saying aloud to my wife or whoever will listen “Did I remember to ask Duane about playing Trumpet?” This question is fine for Emily but most certainly alerts any store clerk who hears the question that maybe they should check my ID before accepting my credit card. “This guy does not have his ducks in a row” they would think aloud, which will make Emily nod her head in the affirmative.
All I’m trying to say in the last 17 paragraphs is that I have the service order pulled up on screen one for a very good reason. Which I have now forgotten.
Let’s move on to screen two — the USA Today article concerning religion in the US. I am quoting the writer, Cathy Lynn Grossman, when I say “When it comes to religion, the USA is now land of the freelancers.” I think that’s true. She goes on to cite a study that suggest that the percentage of people who call themselves Christian has dropped 11% in a generation. The accompanying photo is of a dude named Dylan who is meditating under a poster of the Beatle’s Abbey Road. His cat is sitting next to him, ready for whatever part of the ceremony she plays in this. Dlyan says “I don’t know anyone religious and hardly anyone ‘spiritual'”. This aligns with the American Religious Identification Survey, which says almost every religious denomination in the US has lost ground in the last 18 years, despite a population increase of 50 Million adults. The report ranks religious groups in terms of participants:
#2: Baptist (down almost 4% from 1990 stats)
#3: No religion
I look at this list and see the neighborhood I grew up in. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen my neighborhood on COPS before, too. Anyway…
What do we make of this report on screen two? First, we must take stats with a grain of salt (which provides iodine). 82% of all people use statistics to prove a point. Of that 82%, 45% know that I just made that number up. Statistics are a funny thing, and I’m not just saying that because I got a D in that class.
Second, I think the opportunities are immense. We can see this and panic, which is a very stronghold-ish thing to do. Or we can look at it and see that this is a time where people need Jesus, which happens to be something that Evangelicals posess in droves — and should be giving away like the Living Water that He is.
Third, I’m interested in the fact that the reporter says that this report suggests that people are less spiritual. I think maybe a better way to put it is that people don’t realize how spiritual they are. There is no possible way for us to be less spiritual, given that this is a key part of our makeup as humans. We will never NOT be spiritual, but a population can certainly lose perspective on spirituality.
So there — screen two is deconstructed and responded to.
The third screen, remember, is the one I’m typing on right now. At this moment. I am using a program called “WriteRoom”, which makes my screen look like a Word Processing Program from 1984. The background is black and the text is an errie Apple II green. There is nothing else on the screen to distract — no clock, no bouncing e-mail icon, no quick link over to Facebook to uninstall that wacky “We’re related” app. You may be wondering why I would be so concerned about not being distracted, given that I have three screens in front of me. I wonder that, too.
In the course of this writing, I have taken Phil Collins off the platter and put U2’s new album on the record player. Fantastic, though the fact that they only fit 2-3 songs per side means that I have to flip vynil every 12 minutes or so. It makes me long for some type of device that will play all songs in succession, perhaps a smaller, more compact disc. Ha! Like that would ever happen.
I hope you’re having a great Saturday. Thanks for reading all the way through and/or scrolling to the bottom to see where this post ends.
It ends here.