Mind Matters

by Rev. Robert H. Tucker

Number 254
July 28, 1997

"Bore Me!"


With a smile, I have uttered those words, and many more times have circled around that expression, as I probe beyond to the "Nothing, really" comment about what's happening in another's life.

Mostly, people believe their lives to be singularly uneventful; seldom do I believe it of them. What I do observe is individuals' widespread dismissal or trivialization of their daily experiences.

Perhaps it is the breathtaking lives and loves of movie and television characters, or the laugh track uproariously punctuating every one-liner, or the fast-paced music accelerating action, or the spectacular bone-crunching instant replays which set up a standard for 'real' living, making our lives seem so well, so unexcitingly ordinary.

Of course, this is fantasy (the ads of the movie, "Pretty Woman," included the head of the star pasted on the body of another woman--apparently, she wasn't totally pretty), but the power of the images makes it seem so vividly real. In comparison, our lives lack intensity and significance. What meanings we are able to recognize seem superficial and unsatisfying.

For Christians, the demise of theology has led to this sad state. Often dismissed as irrelevant abstraction, theology elevates the everyday to the extraordinary. For example, incarnation, as a specific doctrine, points to Jesus, the "Word made flesh." But, as a life reality, incarnation is the way we talk about our lives in light of the eternal: as the artist gives visible shape to her vision, as the parent guides his child in light of the image he has of that child, as the author of this Mind Matters tries to make frail words speak a vital truth-and as each and every one of us incarnates the person we believe ourselves to be in the minutes and hours of each day. All of us invest ourselves in the "verities and varieties of our existence" in the daily round. That is incarnation.

Justification and sanctification, sin and grace, faith and hope are part of the estranged language of our time. Unfortunately, it is we, and not the language, that are the losers.

--Robert H. Tucker
28 July 1997

© Robert H. Tucker, 1997.
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