Finding Hope In a Culture of Hyper-Confusion

Sunday, April 24, 2016

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I find it ironic that as we live in the Information Age our culture is becoming increasingly confused. We have instant access to information on just about any subject with just a simple Google search from anywhere in the world. According to Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average (visualize them here), which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Twenty years ago I would have had to get in my car, drive to my local library and try to find that statistic somewhere in an encyclopedia. Today, it took me less than ten seconds to search for and find it on Google while drinking my coffee on my couch in the comfort of my living room.

We are no doubt smarter today than any other previous generation yet we are more confused than ever. We are confused about who we are. It seems the more knowledge we ingest, the less we understand about ourselves personally. We're not confused about facts, knowledge, or data. No, we get that. We are confused about our identity. It seems that people don't know who they are anymore. I am finding that as we get more intelligent we become detached from the foundation of understanding who we are. Famous musicians change their names on a daily basis, cover their faces with veils, and even go to the extreme of changing their skin color. We are no longer just people anymore. We have hyphenated titles like African-American, Native-American, even Muslim-American. That last one doesn't even make sense. We are confused about gender and sexuality, which bathrooms we should use, and on and on it goes. You would think that with all the knowledge we have today that we would have a better grasp on our own personal identity.

Perhaps we are paying the price for a generation that spent so much time trying to find ourselves. In doing so I fear we have actually lost ourselves in that quest. As unsettling as our times are, there is good news. There is hope in the midst of all this hyper-confusion. It is not found in knowledge but in the One who is never confused about us. That is our Father - the creator of the universe. We may forget who we are or lose sight of our identity but he never does.

Isaiah 49:1 says, "The LORD called me before my birth; from within the womb he called me by name." And again in Isaiah 43:1 he says, "But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." You may be deeply confused about who or what you are but I can tell you that God never shares that confusion. He knew you before you were even conceived in your mother's womb. He never has and never will lose sight of who you are. It is we who are confused, not Him.

If we are ever going to end this mass confusion that we suffer from, the answer lies not in more knowledge, facts or understanding. That will only push us farther into the abyss of blind confusion. You can't just let things play out and see where you end up. You have to embrace the source of your true identity and the One who truly knows who you are. He is the missing piece of the puzzle. Your identity is not found in you. It's found in HIM. I have found that the key to life is not in what you know but in WHO you know. I think the author of the most well-known song in the world was on to something when he wrote Amazing Grace. That song was written by a man who came to grips with who he was. The words are a testament to a man who found his true identity through a God of grace. He wrote these words:

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found; was blind but now I see."

If you are confused, stop trying to find yourself and instead find God. It is in finding Him that you can only truly find yourself because He is the one who created you in the first place.

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