September 04, 2005

Optimism Devalued

It was like any other Sunday. The Pastor had just finished giving his sermon and made a call to the congregation. The Pastor spoke of dedication, of love for Christ, of burdens and worries, of every conceivable problem Christians might face. The sermon itself was long and tiresome, lacking in real energy and spark. The cutting edge that God's Word constantly brings to people's hearts was missing and the people's eyes were glazed with weariness. The air in the room was still, and so was the spirit.

The altar call. The all-too-familiar part of the service where they attempt to instil feelings of guilt and penance within the congregation utilising a quiet, peaceful keyboard piece whilst soul-searching statements are being pronounced. And it was then, that the hand came up. A wavering, slow movement which declared distinctiveness due to its solitude. The footsteps to the pulpit he took were so familiar. And as he walked towards the front, I saw glimpses of myself a year ago in that very same position. The very same uncertain footsteps, the serious sincerity and that same tentative smile on the face. Even the congratulations that went round were similar, and so were the people.

I think people nowadays are too quick to declare undying love and faith to God. The recent wave of mass conversions I've seen only serve to remind me of the susceptibility of human beings to good techniques of persuasion. All it takes is some nice music, a charismatic preacher and seemingly caring people and wham, there goes your declaration of undying praise. New converts today fail to truly absorb the message of Christianity into their hearts, resulting in a quick-fire declaration followed by an equally quick slide downhill. That is why I am cynical about most people being overly expressive in too short a span of time.

And that is why I hid in the corner and smiled wryly as the group surrounded him and showered him in attention.

Traveller fell apart at 1:20 PM

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