My first son and I had a discussion last night about whether I have a “post-apocalyptic” view of life. This doesn’t mean I think the apocalypse has happened, but that I have an expectation that the future will be worse rather than better. We had been talking about some photos of my second son, who is an actor, in “Mad Max” costume and setting. I said that I didn’t know where he got his interest in post-apocalyptic films. My older son laughed and suggested that it was from me. “I’m not post-apocalyptic!” I protested, thinking myself ever such an optimist. “Mom, you homestead in a commonwealth country! It’s so Mad Max!”
I thought I was more “Little House on the Big Prairie.”
True, I don’t have a view of the future being better than the present, if we mean more money, more goods purchased, more leisure time, and a general prosperity. We are homesteading because we doubt any of that will happen. We want to be prepared for the day when we can’t afford gasoline for the truck, heating oil for the house, or imported food. We want to be prepared to help our neighbours and family when things do get worse.
If you have no idea what I am talking about, “Mad Max” is the popular name for a series of movies starring Mel Gibson, made a couple of decades or more ago. It is set in Australia, the world has been through some sort of widespread cataclysm, maybe a nuclear war, and the survivors are looking for ways to build a group of like-minded people. Of course, there are villains. It is set in the desert. Fuel, food, water other goods are scarce. Bartering and stealing are the only way to get things.
Well, that isn’t what I have in mind at all. I’m not expecting nuclear war. But I am expecting that we will all have to downshift our expectations, goals and dreams. I’m also of the opinion that if things get bad, it makes sense to head north where there are good water supplies and forest. That’s what we have done. It fits in with how we see our own lives in Christ – living simply, caring for people and the land.
We aren’t survivalists. We are not interested in the American Dream, though. We are, instead, looking for a small reflection of Eden in God’s kingdom here on earth.