breaking from the solipsism of this blog, a posting by joe myers prompted me to reflect…
he asked “I can’t help but wonder if we, those of us who participate in the postmodern conversation, are looking for ‘Woodstock.’ As we struggle for the future, will there be a defining moment that marks the beginning of the end?”
We all desire for this—a place to say, “this is where it happened, this is where ‘it’ took place.” Or do we?
This “defining moment” all too often happens in the past, rarely in the present. It is only when we are telling our story, our own history, that we can adequately see those moments, events, or places for what they are. Our backwards gaze through time teaches us their true value.
And those ‘moments’ which occur in the present are generally not fully understood until the future. Adding layer after layer of meaning, time propels them, and us, significantly through our lives. The ‘love’ of a high school sweetheart expands into the ‘love’ of courtship/marriage. And this ‘love’ grows as marriage continues, and augments toward a ‘love’ encompassing children, which then reflects back and grows the ‘love’ for one’s own parents. So when is the ‘defining moment’ for the love between husband and wife? Where is the ‘moment’ without reference to all these other moments? Our forward glance through time ensures that each ‘moment’ is really more than it actually is. And again, in backward gaze the ‘love’ of a high school sweet heart is properly placed and appreciated.
And isn’t the hope for such a “moment” a longing for certainty and stability, a longing we have cast off as postmoderns? The stabilizing moment, the clearing in the forest, where everything is revealed, and our course/direction is verified. Isn’t this navigating by modern apparatuses? Are we hoping for a collection of moments by which our ‘progress’ can be judged? When does one age end and another begin? For “one does not leave the epoch whose closure one can outline. The movements of belonging or not belonging to the epoch are too subtle, the illusions in that regard are too easy, for us to make a definite judgment”(Derrida of grammatology p.12).
So what is our ‘time’? What is our ‘moment’?
Should we look any farther than the birth of Christ (the Incarnation), or his death and resurrection? Are these events in the past not definitive enough to shape our present?
Should we look any farther than the future Coming of Christ (the Consumation/Recreation)? Is this event not enough to gather all our present ‘moments’ into itself, preparing them all for a final revelation?
So no, in the midst of our postmodern conversation, there will never be a defining moment, we have already been given ‘moments’ enough to navigate by. Time (the collection of moments) has been invaded by Eternity (the Moment) and that is enough.
(but of course, we will continue having “definitive” experiences/moments/event in our lives as Jesus draws us into His Moment, and let him be praised for it. but let’s not hope for them too much)