Yesterday, I was writing about sports history and how soon the past become the distant past. Teams that were dynasties a couple decades ago may not have been a “front-runner” for a long time. As you get older, sometimes you look at the “good old days” in your life and start to see what younger people see as Model T’s.
It struck me this morning that we do have to understand that history can guide us and give us great information that we can use in our own roadmaps, but what we do today is very important. Our future is similar to culture in a way. Culture as our customs and social institutions are affected by many things, but cannot be controlled like a puppet on string. Our future is being created as we live and breathe this morning, but many things affect it. Those of us who believe in God certainly see the strong hand of the Creator in everything around us, but we also have a sense that we still can make our own mistakes.
Many people look out at the world and focus only on what affects them. Others care more about what is going on in places distant. Still others do what they want and let the chips fall. We run into these people at the grocery store. The first stops in at the deli and gives the clerk detailed instructions on how she wants her meats and cheeses cut–she is very particular and tolerates no mistakes. Sometimes the line gets a little longer as it can take a while for her to educate the clerk. The second person is upset today because the meat he has been buying from overseas has been discontinued. He is confronted with making a choice that might make him party to the scattershot practices of meat purveying that most people are “too uninformed to carry about.” The third person believes that the meat she has selected is contained in a package that is too close to the end and will give her smaller pieces for her sandwiches. She insists the clerk opens a new package regardless of what that it might cost the store. A fourth person might understand how these people see things and is determined make decisions about how his choices work without causing a new set of problems. He tries to moderate his choices and demands. All these people make up our society and create the future and our history.