Every life is filled with before and after moments of realization. The generation before me had a before and after experience when Pearl Harbor was attacked, and we entered World War II. The assassination of President Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. offered a similar contrast. So did 9/11.
We enter these transitions of culture with one understanding of reality and exit with a different, more informed understanding. What is the “before” we are believing now that will abruptly change after the next significant life event takes place?
Maybe it was growing up as a kid watching the old TV series Dragnet where LAPD Sgt. Joe Friday would state, “Just the facts, ma’am.” Later, when I became a cop and worked as a detective, I found myself asking a similar question after a crime had taken place. I tried to help witnesses stay with the facts because somewhere in the facts was the evidence for the case I was working on.
What blinds us in the before moments and causes us to stumble during the insecurity that happens after a life-altering event takes place are our assumptions and our emotions. These two elements can cause us to either over-react or not react at all – a fight or flight response. In those responses, we are not able to see the facts and resulting evidence of what is taking place. Those who investigate the facts and don’t join in the hyperbole and emotion can seem out of touch with reality and might even be considered conspiracy theorists, not in sync with the assumed narrative.
It would be wise to put our current understanding of life and reality on the table and allow the Holy Spirit to examine what we think we understand regarding what is taking place in the world. What the Spirit reveals to us might not go along with the proverbial flow or our current interpretation of reality. What that revelation will do is put us in a stable mental, emotional, and spiritual space that will allow us to move through the dangerous transition time that will occur between the before and after of the next major transition of culture. As we follow the Spirit’s lead, we will come out on the other side ready to help those who were not able to discover the facts that pointed to the evidence of the reality we are currently living through.