Getting up to speed.
As a matter-of-fact, getting up to speed isn't necessarily about velocity, acceleration, or physical movement. Our world is already fast and moving at warp speed isn't a goal for most of us. The Urban Dictionary indicates that getting up to speed is "a state of being or having a satisfactory level of competence or knowledge in a specific area or discipline, as compared to other individuals in that same area or discipline". Falling behind a learning curve may be one of the contributing factors in our shrug it off, matter-of-fact world. In many respects this shrug is the indicator of high levels of ignorance and apathy. You know the old word play. The professor asks, "What's the difference between ignorance and apathy?" The student replies, "I don't know and I don't care." Sound familiar?
Let me tip toe here. When I'm talking ignorance I'm not referencing mental capacity. We all have our limits there and there's no criticism intended of those in the higher ranges of intellect and those of us in the lower echelons. I'm also not referencing focused areas of study like quantum physics or veterinary science. Relatively few of us can venture into the specialized areas of advanced study. Shoot, when I passed third grade math I was beyond my depth there. Don't ask me to wire a junction box or replace the brakes in my car. No, when I'm talking ignorance it's more about the general areas of life study we all should be informed about. You know, the branches of government we should study in ninth grade civics, the plain talk about how babies are made we learn in tenth grade biology, or the differences in there, their, and they're somewhere in the English area. My theory, which is little more than that, is that this kind of ignorance breeds the apathy of the modern day shrug. Everything is matter-of-fact because today we're pretty uninformed about so many basic life realities.
Our shrug today is the modern apathy because we cannot be genuinely passionate about things not stored in our information systems or beyond the push a of compute key.. The other day I heard two students talking about how humans should treat one another. One student said the Golden Rule was good advice about living with others but wasn't mandatory for human relationships. Certainly we can treat people anyway we want, depending on the our circumstances and our personal life experience. He added, "You know, Ben Franklin didn't know everything anyway!". It was a very low level, shallow discussion because neither could claim truth in their argument. So, it was tame. Matter-of-fact.
Getting up to speed is about learning so we can discuss, debate and experience life issues with informed clarity. This kind of learning was central to what Jesus taught his disciples. Before sending them out he said, "Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves" (Matthew 10:16, ESV). it was a pretty stark prediction that they would be like sheep among wolves, a bloody mess, as a matter-of-fact. He wanted them to be able to function in that kind of world. So, it was getting up to speed moment for them. Jesus didn't want his disciples to be eaten alive in that first century dog-eat-dog world.
We are sent to this time, right now. As a matter-of-fact we're supposed to influence this time, right now. Which mean we're supposed to give this time, right now, more than a shrug. And, that's where the Christian worldview comes in. If we're really believers we're supposed to know the biblical direction for the matters of life, and be informed enough to address them. Getting up to speed is simply being personally informed about what is happening in life, and being prepared to speak to those issues.
it's eliminating the shrug of matter-of-fact living, getting up to speed about what is happening in the world around us, and letting our light shine in that world.
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