Friday, February 24, 2017

Quick Fixes

For decades we educators have lamented the fact that we feel pressure to "Fix broken things fast". In a microwave world we can zap a potato for a couple of minutes and get it ready to eat. As a result, Zapping problems has become an expectation for every issue we face.

We have a terrorism problem, "Bomb It"!
We have a medical problem, "Cut it out or make a pill for it"!
We have a chronic poverty problem, "Throw money at it".
We have an addiction problem, "Give out clean needles".
We have kids without parents in poor countries, "Send rich Americans to build big homes for them"!
We have a refugee problem, "March"!

My conclusion? "There is no issue, crisis, problem or illness that we cannot ZAP!" And that means we  rarely devise plans that work for the long run. and, when things don't work we look for someone to blame and shame.

Maybe that is why so many people are polarized and cursing those with whom they disagree. As a Christian Educator and Family Therapist, I want to see churches develop ongoing activities to equip everyone for long term changes. We all need to learn how to live in healthily ways and pass it on to others. That takes members who care and support each other over the long term.

And, it is happening in many, if not most, churches. Being a friend that will listen and pray is extremely valuable. Our research with parents of a sick child indicated that they really need and want friends to talk with and pray with. They did not ask for medical assistance or magic, just a friend.

I want to be the modern Mr. Rogers and suggest that friendship and prayers are like water and oxygen. They are necessary for survival.

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Gary Sweeten

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