2006 © Liam McCarthy. Image from BigStockPhoto.com
In her end of year article, Look ahead with stoicism – and optimism, Peggy Noonan worries that it may be said of the USA: “They forgot the mission.” She surveys the past ten years of various American institutions – the federal government, Wall St, Congress, the Catholic Church, public schools, journalism – and makes a convincing case that, “They forgot the mission.”
Name the institution and you will probably see a diminished sense of mission, or one that has disappeared or is disappearing…And as all these institutions forgot their mission, they entered the empire of spin. They turned more and more attention, resources and effort to the public perception of their institution and not to the reality of it. Everyone gave their efforts to how things seemed and not how they were.
Noonan calls each American to take personal responsibility and to adopt the national watchwords “repair, rebuild and return.” Sounding more and more like an Old Testament prophet than a newspaper columnist as the article progresses, she closes with a series of searching questions:
If you work in a great institution: Do you remember the mission? Do you remember why you went to work there, what you meant to do, what the institution meant to you when you viewed it from the outside, years ago, and hoped to become part of it?
Christians, Churches, Seminaries, Christian ministries, have you forgotten your mission? If so, add a fourth word to Noonan’s watchwords: “REPENT, repair, rebuild and return.”