STOP THE MERRY-GO-ROUND




“We’re getting dizzy!”

Sometimes it feels as though the merry-go-round is spinning faster and faster – without asking us if we can handle the speed of the spin! In the last five to ten years there have been so many changes. Technologic advances, social media, fashion, lifestyles, lifelong beliefs and more seem to be changing from week to week. What was “right” or “acceptable” when we were growing up is no longer defined by the old, narrow parameters. We are bombarded with these new ways and ideas from all sides. We read about it, see it on TV and social media, and learn about it from the larger and the local churches. Native American, Hispanic, Asian, Black, and LGBTQIA+, do they each need a month to celebrate? Terms and pronouns and their usages have been changing. Why must we make all these changes? Why do we have to get a smartphone, a smart TV, and watch people behave in crazy ways on YouTube and TicToc? It isn’t our “tube” and “tick tock” was the sound our watch and our clock made before they went digital.

Crazy hairstyles and clothes – oh well, that isn’t a new thing, is it? Young people trying to figure out who they are? That has been happening since Cain and Abel. New and improved, upgraded, reinvented, tried and true replaced by new, every generation experiences it. We are being asked to learn new terminology and to understand what it means. Non-binary, cis gender, transgender, and more have joined heterosexual, homosexual, gay, and lesbian. The pronouns used to describe an individual may not follow the rules we learned as children. As for celebrating certain people for a whole month, the vast majority of us have been “celebrated” every day for centuries. Taking time to acknowledge groups of people who were or are discriminated against or have been made to feel outcast in the past, does not take anything away from the rest of us. Are you confused by what is happening these days? Is it difficult to understand how some are able to deal with it all? Guess what? The people experiencing it are trying to navigate their way through this unfamiliar territory as well.

When a person is trying to determine just who they are and how they feel, they must deal with many conflicts and issues. They may be pushed away from their family, friends, their employer, their church, their school, and society in general. The relationship between them and any one of these entities may stay the same, become a bit tenuous, or be totally broken.

Some of the beliefs we were taught as children and have followed all our lives are being challenged or are no longer the “only way”. It can make us feel that we are being told that we are wrong, or we must change everything we believe. We don’t all have to agree on everything. We don’t have to change what we believe or how we feel. What we need to do, must do, is see things from the other person’s side and realize that they may be confused and struggling with their feelings, their place in the world, that which they don’t understand, or which contradicts what they have always known and believed. What we have to do is what Jesus would do. We need to love all of God’s children and leave judgment up to God.

We seem to be on opposite banks of a swiftly flowing river. If we come together and build a bridge, no one needs to be swept away by the current.

God, I put all trust and faith in You. I don’t have to agree with or understand everyone and everything. I don’t need to judge anyone for how they look, what they believe, or the way they live. That is between You and them. I just need to listen and love as You would have me love. I place all in Your hands. In the name of Jesus, amen.


Karen Schoeppach
















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