“There’s something going on” is the slogan of conspiratorial thinking, which I now see is a very convenient tool for not taking any meaningful action to make life measurably better. Of course, the modus operandi of the conspiracy theorist is to loudly suggest causal relationships for even the loosest of correlations, whether they be between the President of the United States and terrorist attacks or between the five wealthiest people in the world, and that’s a lazy shortcut which allows the theorist to avoid the work involved to discover the real causes to real problems and then to propose and test real solutions.
Conspiratorial thinking is a form of hiding. Weak. Sauce.
We can fall into conspiratorial thinking in our work, too, stretching correlations into causes when church membership declines, when we get a bad performance review, when soccer wins out over youth group yet again. If our explanation for our own ineffectiveness is that “There’s something going on,” then we’re hiding from personal responsibility and from the underlying challenge of our vocation, which is to lead in times of change to bear witness to good news, even at the cost of our own life.
There’s nothing going on. But there is work to be done.