The Wonder Years, The ‘Burbs, And Encouragement From Fred Savage
I was watching The Wonder Years on Netflix last night and was stunned by what I think many folks could learn from the following quote at the end of the first episode.
The context is that Winnie just found out her brother died in Vietnam…
When some “Blow Hard” talks about the anonymity of the suburbs, the mindlessness of the “T.V. generation,” we knew that inside each one of those identical boxes with its Dodge parked out front, and its white bread on the table, and its glowing TV…there were people with stories. There were people bound together in the pain and struggle of love. There were moments that made us cry with laughter. There were moments of sorrow and wonder.
Here are some takeaways:
1. Talking about how much MORE strategic it is to live in an urban context needs to quit. There are real hurts in the urban, suburban, and rural. None of them is “more strategic”.
Spend time just encouraging people to have eyes to see and ears to hear for the Kingdom, no matter where they are.
Also, with being involved in Sudan for over 10 years now, it has been amazing to see how many people live in an urban and suburban context, that look down on those who are in a rural context, all the while affirming what we are doing in Sudan. 2 out of the 3 orphanages we have started are in a VERY RURAL context. I think that it’s just that it seems to be “more strategic” because it’s Sudan.
Don’t believe the lie.
2. If you live in the suburbs and minister in the suburbs, be encouraged, but don’t be lulled to sleep. There are two types of people in the world: The Walking Living (those who are in Christ) and The Walking Dead. That is it. There is not a third category. Therefore, how are you engaging the people in “the identical boxes”?
3. If you live in a rural context, yet think it’s some type of “second class” deal compared to the ‘burbs or an urban context, please stop that also. The rural context has just as much pain as the other two. Let’s not fool ourselves. Also, the rural has just as much victory!
Therefore, my prayer is the mask will be taken off of the idol, “My area is more strategic because…”
“The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” (Ps. 24:1)
Pain is everywhere. Victory is a foregone conclusion for those who are in Christ. Therefore, let’s just be people who want to faithfully see the Gospel of The Kingdom proclaimed everywhere no matter what the cost.