I have been reading Sabbath by Dan Allender (Thomas Nelson, 2009) and I’m posting a couple of paragraphs about what Allender describes as conventional behaviour. This quote is in the chapter called, Sabbath Play: Despair Surrenders to Joy, on page 138. It is difficult to explain how this quote fits into a book about Sabbath so I’m not even going to try. (Read the book if you would like to know!) Allender believes that conventional behaviour is a form of despair. Here is the quote:

Conventional behavior is living life as a prepackaged, paint-in-the-numbers craft kit. It requires no creativity of hope, only dutiful obedience to whatever “truth” or “leader” or “truth leader” that enables one to escape the onus of freedom. This can occur among liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, anarchists, skinheads, gay-rights activists, and gay opponents. It involves any form of dogmatism where the party line is uncritically accepted as the superior truth to all other claimants.

Often the “truth” provides a set of parameters that shape nearly every dimension of life, including dress code, acceptable art, and use of time and money. The benefit is that the adherents get to live vicariously through the lives of their heroes rather than getting dirty in a game that requires deep-rooted hope to play. In many ways, those who are happy to be blind live the deepest form of hopelessness, because they have not even identified their fear of hope.