Organization as Soul Provider
When our identity is no longer found in who we are and how God sees us, we look to organizations to shape who we are and give meaning to our lives. From phones and fashion to politics and causes, our identity is being formed by who we buy from and who we belong to. This process of organization as soul provider has been gaining serious momentum. Consider these four reasons:
1. Globalization: We’re connected to everyone, everything, everywhere. We Digg our Face-My-Twitter-Blog-elcious-LinkedIn-Wiki-world. Because we’re connected to everything, we’ve forgotten what it means to be connected to the right things. People are more lonely and isolated than ever before. Today, 1 out of every 4 households in the U.S. has just one person living there. In 1950, it was 1 out of every 10.
2. Options: We have more choices than ever before. It’s no wonder why places like Trader Joes, Five Guys and In-N-Out are so successful because they’ve narrowed the amount of choices for us. We cling to companies that decide for us. We really don’t want so many options, we just think we do. It’s one of the reasons we like Apple so much. Walk into Office Max or go buy a computer on CDW and you have hundreds of decisions to make.
3. Branding: We have a lot of the same stuff all trying to tell us why it’s not the same stuff. Observe the shelves in any grocery store and you’ll see rows and rows of the same food just packaged differently. Do we really need a dozen different types of peanut butter?
4. Disruption: We prefer shortcuts and convenience. More and more people–especially in America–are working with their minds more than their hands. This has resulted in mental exhaustion and fat bodies. We spend less time relating, thinking and reading because our minds are too tired. We’ve lost touch with the rhythm of creation, seasons, day and night. Because we’re doing so much, we are continually looking for more things to help us get more things done.
This era of organization as soul provider is a constant struggle because we’ve been wrestling with our identity–who we are and what our souls are about since the beginning of time. It stems from our deep down desire to be known. In a spiritual sense, this is the way we’re wired.
In Psalm 139:1-6, David cries out “God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too–your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful–I can’t take it all in!” (The Message)
Next, I’ll wrap this little series up with what it looks like to have a soul and what the church’s role in this identity crisis is.