1 Stalwart seniors
Ever have one of those days when most things that catch your eye take the air out of your tires? That happened to me a few days back, when going through an esteemed journal I encountered reporting that put the D is “dismay” and the G in “give up”.
That evening, I read an article about how social media was tricking pre-teens across the world to buy impulsively—and soon discard—what’s known at “fast fashion”—cheap, perhaps-faddish clothing that served no other purpose than herd-membership. A 2 startling book review told about how Amazon is ruining American commerce and lifestyles. Still another report: An inside look at hyperpop—a “noisy, ugly and addictive countercultural sound of the 2020s” (The Atlantic Magazine, March 2021) Later during the evening’s TV fare, famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson spoke of his persistent worry that the rapidly expanding universe would eventually overwhelm gravity itself, destroying even the atoms that comprise all matter!
This was not a good day, because it sent me toward familiar emotional territory: Give up, give over, give in. The ocean is getting bigger, and my older adult boat is getting smaller.
That’s when my inherited 3 Scotch-German stubbornness kicked in.
Instead of being demoralized or defeated by what seemed like overwhelming evidence that things are going from bad to worse, I found again the gumption to keep at this countercultural life that’s called Christianity. To find my place in that ocean and clean it up. To resist idolatry, stupidity and hate wherever I encounter them. To 4 bind myself to others who are keeping at our following of Christ. People who are sturdily steadfast.
Stalwart’s a good word. My guess is that it applies to you, too. I’m glad you’re out there.
Let’s stay stubbornly stalwart together…!
1 This adjective (and derived noun) comes from Scottish, Old English and Old High German roots that indicate a worthy foundation. (In the Icelandic, literally “a milking barn”.) Hence “good, serviceable, excellent, well-based.” (The term is also loosely connected to steward.) Among the notable synonyms: steadfast, sturdy, hardy, strong, powerful, resolute, firm, brave/bold, spunky and even mettlesome!
2 Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America, by Alec MacGillis.
3 I have long suspected that stubbornness may be one of the (unnamed) gifts of the Spirit. Perhaps especially for elders?
4 If enough of us lash our little boats together—or at least sail in the same direction, we become a fleet, a God-directed armada that can rule the waves of history!