New Thought Editorials > Fearlessly Facing the Future

 

Winter 2000

Fearlessly Facing the Future

January 1, 2000 is the beginning of the last year of both the twentieth century and the second millennium. In all probability, you are reading this in the comfort of your heated and lighted home, with food at hand, despite all the Y2K fears. It’s a time of completion, a good time to take stock, to wrap up the century and the millennium with a strong, positive outlook on the future.

In many ways, the twentieth century—and indeed, all of the modern era—represents the moral adolescence of the human race: Stage Three in psychiatrist Scott Peck’s stages of faith development. It has been a time of rebelling against convention of all sorts, questioning traditional standards, boundaries, and authorities. In some ways, this has been good, leading to greater freedom and creativity, because it allows people to break free from a childish, unquestioning faith and from narrow ways of thinking that did not allow everyone to live up to divine potential. In other ways, it has been horrible, leading to wars, political and economic: upheaval, and ultimately, loss of ideals. To many people, the twentieth century means a destructive postmodernism that reduces everything to moral relativity, with no absolute values, no North Star to steer by.

In Chinese, the word crisis is written with the characters for danger and opportunity. Ignoring the traditional principles that have emerged as wisdom’s way in every culture throughout history is indeed dangerous, but chaos theory teaches us that the greater the chaos, the greater the resulting order; that is our opportunity. After our adolescent questioning and upheaval, we have cleaned house. We have established our own values, instead of accepting without question the values of others. We have learned the hard way the value of the universal principles that come from God, even though our understanding of God may have grown and changed. Like the Prodigal Son in Jesus’s parable, we have sown our wild oats, wasted our substance in riotous living, and are now ready to return in humility to our father’s house, having learned our lessons. Character does count; families, though they limit one’s freedom somewhat, are a vital source of love and support. Tired of eating husks, we remember that in our father’s house, there is an abundance of spiritual and physical food, and we return there, ready to serve. To our amazement, we are welcomed home with open arms and restored to our privileged status as heirs to all that the father has.

Now we are ready for a mature faith, for Peck’s Stage Four. We have learned our lessons; now we can release the horrible memories and retain only the valuable learning. Like Jesus, we have the mind of Christ. We cast our burden of past mistakes on the Christ within, and we go free, free to "face the future wise, secure, and unafraid."

Let us make the most of our dangerous opportunity to release the past and rise in consciousness into a mature spirituality, leading the way into a new age of peace and prosperity for all.