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Spiritual Tinkering or Single Purpose
•The single word that best describes young adults‘ approach to religion and spirituality—indeed life—is tinkering.
•Church shopping and church hopping
•Searching for answers to existential questions in venues beyond local congregation, expressing spiritual interests through art, music and devotional reading
—Robert Wuthnow, After the Baby Boomers (Princeton U.P., 2007)
Why do people devote endless amounts of energy to volunteer causes?
What motivates American adults to invest 20 billion volunteer hours each year?
Most of us probably grew up watching Popeye the Sailor Man. Do you remember Olive Oyl, the special girl in his life? Popeye’s demeanor was usually calm and collected. But if something happened that would potentially harm Olive, he exploded. He would shout, “That’s all I can stand, and I can’t stands no more!” Then he popped open his can of spinach, ate it, and became an unstoppable force for good, each time saving Olive Oyl from her distress.
Scores of people have experienced Popeye moments and made a difference in their world. They reached a point where they could “stands it no more,” and they did all they could to fix the problem.
Bill Hybels, Holy Discontent
A lot of boomers have Popeye moments coming. The temptation may be to engage in spiritual tinkering. The significance comes from living out the implications of the Popeye moment.
Exploring Faith is on the air the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month with John Maher and Pete Peters.
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