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The Spiritually Astute Christian’s Guide to What’s Hot in 2009

December 26, 2008

I know what you’re thinking: Spiritually Astute Christian combined with What’s Hot in 2009? These do NOT belong together. You might even suggest that it is impossible – heretical, almost – to mix foundational, unchanging spiritual truths with the fickle moodiness of fashion trends. Perhaps it’s crass, even. But I, for one, am not above it.

IN:       Authenticity                     OUT:   Pretence

I am not impressed. No one is any more. Just admit it, you are a vulnerable and insecure mess just like me. In 2009 we want to know you. The real you, warts and all, not the version you think everyone wants you to be. We’re all in this together. It’s time to strip away all the holy veneer, go deep down inside, and find out what’s in there. And then give it away to others.


IN:       Conspicuous Thriftiness   

OUT:   Conspicuous Spending

Duh. It’s simply not good for the wallet, or the soul. Rather, everyone is getting in the mood to cut back and simplify. Uber futurist and trend-watcher Faith Popcorn  has dubbed it “The Culture of Recession.” Basically her report says that everyone is just going to buy less stuff next year. Thrift is now in fashion. Good.


IN:       Rick Warren                        

OUT:   Pre-Obama Rick Warren

After 25 billion copies of Purpose Driven Life, I think it’s safe to say that that book has served its purpose.  Can we move on, Rick? To something with a little more…substance? Which is what we have in 2009, now that Obama has invited Rick Warren to the Inner Circle.  I think we can expect a refreshing new take on what the mix of Christianity and politics can look like. 


IN:  Organic whole wheat artisan-crafted loaves       

OUT:   Matzoh bread

I’m talking communion here, folks. 


 IN:       Meditation                        OUT:   Prayer

Well, Okay, it’s not like I’m going to stop praying. It’s just that praying can actually make me more anxious, while meditating is so much more…whole. I think it integrates both sides of my brain, while synching up my spiritual psyche with some other tranquil dimension of the universe. Or something like that. Try it, you’ll see.


IN:       Macaroons                            OUT:    Cupcakes

A food reference for good measure.


IN:      Gratitude                                 OUT:  Anxiety

You do have a choice, you know. And it’s not necessarily in your medicine cabinet. Check in on that inner voice – the one that’s always telling you what a loser you are and everything’s going down the crapper, and see if you can dial down the destructive chatter. Sometimes it just takes a little conscious recalibration of your perspective towards gratefulness. I’ll bet if you make a little effort, you’ll find plenty of good thoughts to feed to your inner monster. Surprise people by thanking them. Be the one in the conversation to introduce a positive comment. Start a Gratitude Group!


IN:   Tony Jones’ glasses             OUT:  Katie Couric’s glasses

This is just a pet peeve of mine. I needed something to offset how ridiculous and contrived Katie Couric looks when she dons those Tina-fey glasses. I don’t think it’s making much of a dent with the ratings, either. And Tony Jones? Well, his glasses just confirm his smart-cool-hip-Christian PhD dude-ness. Next will be the teeth.


IN:  Kingdom of God                   OUT:        Emergent Church

Spekaing of Tony: since Emergent is all the rage right now, it begs to be on the “Out” list.  How about just acting out our faith, every day, everywhere we are,  no matter what kind of church we choose to belong to? It’s like the very act of trying to de-label or un-brand the traditional church creates a new label and a new brand of it’s own, and before long you’re right back where you started. 


IN:          Now                                           OUT:     What’s Next

The moment is now, and that’s really all that I have – it’ s all God has given me. So I will revel in the joy, the beauty, the chaos and share in the grace and goodness of it all. Whatever and whoever is there right in front of me, I will give my full attention. Which, right now, is me writing on this computer screen, and you reading it.

It’s nice, isn’t it?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 26, 2008 3:54 pm

    these are all good things – organic, meditation, gratitude, thriftiness. One wonders how any of them could have ever fallen out of fashion!!

    hope it’s a good 2009, and even better 2010

  2. December 26, 2008 9:37 pm

    i am sticking with prayer. good post

  3. December 27, 2008 11:04 pm

    I like the IN : Kingdom of God and the In: Now – The Church needs to Get Real and live life the way Jesus did. That’s all I wish for this new year, that the church will start acting more like the hands and feet of Jesus on earth and stop talking about it and JUST DO IT!!!

  4. shrinkingthecamel permalink*
    December 28, 2008 1:12 am

    Thanks for the feedback, folks.

    GGW-Bach – nice to have you drop in. Good point on how many of these things are basic necessities to good clean spiritual living! Shame on us if they ever really went out of fashion…

    Yes, Nancy, I too am sticking with prayer.

    Mom2Olivia – Nice to see you again, and WOW to your enthusiasm! If no one else does, I know you will get it started! A big nod of agreement to your comment.

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