Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Standing on Titans' Shoulders
November 1, All Saints' Day. Today is the day when Christians have traditionally remembered all the faithful who have gone before. It's a practice which most Protestants have relegated to the scrapheap of superstition. But reflection need not be superstition, and there is much we could learn by remembering and reflecting upon the lives and deeds of our spiritual fathers. Indeed, without thoughtful reflection, we live on their legacies like squatters rather than like sons.
Last week's San Antonio Christian Independent Film Festival was food for some of this inter-generational reflection.
When I was in college, my peers and I, like every young generation, wanted to change the world. We talked and prayed about taking over academia, achieving political influence, capturing the culture's imagination through the media, bringing down Communisim with the Gospel, and financing it all through our own private businesses. We haven't gotten very far.
Most of my generation had no desire to connect with those who had gone before, and to be fair, most of the previous generation had nothing much to pass on. As Francis Schaeffer put it, they were concerned chiefly with "personal peace and affluence". (Though my parents were an exception to the rule.) We had to learn to look farther back for shoulders on which to stand.
However, at the Film Festival, most of the filmmakers were my generation's children. And they were consciously standing on our shoulders, working to accomplish those things we had only dreamed and prayed. Probably the one thing my generation has been able to do, is to raise children on purpose, training them in the vision we have not been able to attain. But we have been able to give them shoulders on which to stand.