First, a story from back in the day, back in Genesis. Like most of Genesis, you have to take it with a grain of salt. A literal interpretation will make your brain start to hurt. So, let’s just take it for what it is: a story about the diversity of language:
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
Okay. Kinda interesting. Get a bunch of people together, see them have An Idea. See them Work on The Idea. See Progress.
As we grow up and we start to try to differentiate ourselves from our parents, we start to have Ideas. Our parents, being much older and wiser, look at these ideas and think “that is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of”.
But before that, there were Challenges.
The Cinnamon Challenge.
The Ice Bucket Challenge (which actually supported a cause).
BUT BEFORE THEN…
Maybe parents look at these ideas and think they’re stupid because they had their own Ideas.
How many people can fit into something that no longer exists?
and so on.
We live in a media-saturated world where such things as YouTube celebrities and Professional Video Game Streamers exist. So our Ideas reach audiences much, much earlier these days. And much like the phone booths, they too will fade to be replaced by something else, because we all grow up.
In many ways, the story of the Tower of Babel is the story of a transition from teenage indestructibility into mortality.
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
We can ask why God chose to stop this Idea. In that sense, trying to understand God’s intentions is impossible. The answer is always “BECAUSE”. Kind of like a parent.
This is why I don’t worry too much about my kids, and neither should you, especially when it comes to any alarmist trend breathlessly reported by the internet.