Cultural Hangover

Not all of us have lived sanctified lives from the earliest moments.  I for one remember many years ago when a hangover was a popular topic (experience).  One time, a bunch of us young immortals settled into a discussion of our post-college-graduation dreams on many continents while indulging in as many types of liquid libation.  You name it and we discussed it and drank it.  Yikes.  What followed was not so glorious; quite inglorious (read: sinful).  You know what I mean.  But, I look back on that conversation and I somehow lose the thoughts of porcelain raptures amid the memories of the glorious plans and scenes etcetera.  Funny what gets lost in a memory.

Hangovers, however, they provide an interesting study.  A hangover is a consequence of an overindulgent behavior.  A physical manifestation of too much (alcohol).  I feel like for many months (years) I’ve been drinking, I’ve fallen asleep and now, awake, I think I’m experiencing a cultural hangover. I’m talking about the great American privilege of voting.  It is grand, no doubt and I wouldn’t change that at all.  Yet, maybe its cuz my man lost, but, I feel like I can’t get out of the bathroom.

I used to love the Drugdereport.  Now, I dread it.  Each time it loads I think to myself, “oh no.  What’s changed?”  For a long time we all drank from the 20 oz. cultural-change-draught.  It was cheap and ubiquitous.  No one cared about a hangover; we loved the drink and the experience of it.  Now I’m awash with bits about missle systems stalled in Poland, executive orders, stem cell research, bailouts for auto makers and Gorbachev calling for ‘perestroika’ in the USA.  This is not what this tasted like last night.

I’ve had children ask me if Mr. Obama was going to outlaw hunting and home-schooling.  Oh my.  These young ones surely are taking their cues from somewhere.  Are these legitimate concerns?  I don’t know.  It would be hard to believe if they were, still, I wonder if there are any others who are concerned about “change.”  Maybe it is the law of unintended consequences that bothers me most.

What I remember is that over time, hangovers disappear.  The body gets back into balance.  I expect that the same is true of our cultural moment.  It is hard to see what balance may look like.  Christians typically (and rightly) console themselves with theology.  Perhaps that’s our only way out.  God is over all of this.  Our elected officials are, at the foundation, His choices.  These men and women are ours in that they are what we need and what most honors Him.  Severe mercy.

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