All Good Things (and the IS conference, too) Must Come to an End.

I'm not a big fan of our biannual Interdisciplinary Studies Conference.
I'm not a big fan of the long-winded speeches about rethinking worldviews and standing up for loosely-defined "justice" (or the nebulous CRC catchphrase "shalom") by discarding tradition and reason.

This year's IS was a bit different, in that I came away with a clearer understanding of a major issue.
The emphasis of the conference was twofold: the new Micah Centre and the UN Millennium Development Goals. I went into the conference thinking "if our University's policy is now determined by the UN, I'm glad that I graduate in May." I left with a more accepting attitude, and here's why:
Roy Berkenbosch wrapped up the conference by saying that as our understanding of need becomes more comprehensive, we will be required to find more comprehensive ways of meeting needs.
Every time I heard about the AIDS problem, government corruption in the third world, abuse of women in Africa, or any of the other issues highlighted by the conference, I became more and more aware of the hopelessness of our situation. It doesn't matter how many rubber bracelets or red iPods you buy: there will always be poverty and disease. It doesn't matter how much aid we sent to Rwanda: the spirit of those people is still broken.
The world is broken. We cannot fix it.

God can fix things. He has fixed things. He will fix things.

So we can't despair. We can't give up on helping people, but we have to help in the right ways. Part of hope is the helping we do in our own neighbourhoods, our own spheres of influence. Part of hope is also the effort we make to spread some good news around. We should be ready to die to tell people the good news, and we should be ready to give what it takes to help our neighbour who is in (physical) need.
We should also pray more. I can't really do anything for the orphaned girl in Kenya, and I'm not sure if my uncle can either, but I'm absolutely certain that God can save her life; so I'll pray more.

1 comment:

Irene said...

you may have just written the best IS paper ever - you have clearly thought through the issues and come to a clearer understanding that will actually step out of the realm of mere intellect, and actually affect your worldview, which will affect how you live your life. Very cool.