At the end of one of the original Star Trek episodes Captain Kirk looks out on the vast expanse of unknown adventure in front of him and gives the command, "Warp Speed Mr. Spock -- let's see what's out there." What was out there was sure to be some unknown and unpredictable cataclysm which human ingenuity alone could overcome, and it was coming at the speed of light. When he wrote this scene Gene Rodenberry, creator of Star Trek, might just as easily have had in mind the coming of 2009.
As 2009 begins, I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen to us as a nation or a community. At very best I am glad no one is asking me what to do about it all. I do, of course, have some personal goals (often confused with "New Years Resolutions") and some things I would like to see in our community.
This time last year I deliberately told Kay I was going to do one of those read through the Bible in one year programs [you only reach goals if you tell someone]. This I did and am going to start again January 1. It's not that I haven't read the Bible before; it is more that at my age I need to cram for the finals.
Also, I am going to finish reading the three volumes I have yet to begin of Winston Churchill's memoirs of World War II. (Hi, Carol Mueller and Churchillians-by-the-Bay). Each volume is about 800 pages and I am a very slow reader. It is probably not true that everyone should read this work, but if you did you'd get some microscopic insight into how omnipresent God is in keeping track of all that is going on in the world.
As for as our community goes, there are three things I would like to see:
First, could the Mayor of Brazil Indiana please find some venue to say exactly where we stand as a city and whether or not we're going somewhere (say a State of the City address at the Chamber of Commerce)? Rumor has it our Mayor is doing a lot of good works, mostly the kind of thing a humble person does not mention. But, if nationally we hope to be better off with a leader who gives hope and direction, it might help having the same thing locally.
Second, could something be done which actually promotes local business? That Bridge Festival thing only slows down local commerce. And, almost everything done on a community-wide basis is designed to draw people not to National Avenue but to Forest Park. When an event does occur on "Main Street," mostly parades, the first thing that happens is the cops block off the streets so no one can get to any of the local businesses to find out what they might offer.
Finally, what I would like to see for Brazil, for Clay County, for Indiana, for the United States of America is what might be called a Spiritual Awakening. I don't have any specific definition of what this mean, but I think we'd know it if we saw it. Given that what coming at the speed of light is an unknown and unpredictable cataclysm which human ingenuity alone might this time not be able to overcome, turning back to God might be just what we need.
Warp Speed Mr. Spock -- let's see what's out there.
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.