Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Life Traffic

Written by: on October 27, 2023

Traffic is probable on a commute that I make each week, both ways. My two ridiculous-looking dogs (see below) and I leave consistently on Tuesdays in the evening, just as rush hour is in full throttle. I add to the congestion the next morning right on cue with thousands of other metro-Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Brighton commuters – all trying to find an edge and arrive at their destination a moment sooner. Despite the traffic, I really enjoy my Tuesday nights with the family even though it also feels rushed and routine most of the time, just like the ride up.

It’s about a 1.5 to 2-hour commute one-way and has been a great opportunity to listen to books and explore our weekly topics. I’ve learned in the past year or so to take advantage of this time and remove the rush. Traffic is of minimal concern to me on these trips because I listen to audio research and reflect in prayer. I am rarely on the phone and the dogs sleep as long as the pace stays somewhat steady. This week was no different. I planned to dive into Postmodernism[1] by Stephen Hicks Tuesday night after the family was in bed and jot down blog notes from some YouTube videos that I listened to of Hicks on the ride up. There are so many socialistic ideals and philosophies that I found interesting from Dr. Hicks that I spent most of the night processing it more than reading or writing. I couldn’t help but think about our current situations in our economy, culture, identity politics, war, and the seemingly destructive nature of it all. Certain topics like this one tend to intrigue me more than others and send me on a tailspin of thought and research. This week Hicks pushed the envelope when he described postmodernism in eschatological terms, with a dominant society eventually controlling it all.

The topic makes me feel uneasy, especially with so much conflict around the world.  The question I was left with was, “Is there anything we can do?” Or, is it all perspective regardless of the outcome? Are we victims of postmodernistic ideology or are we willingly and unconsciously following suit? I think a little of both. Let’s go back to the commute. We may not be able to manipulate the time of day for the trip, or volume of traffic, but we can change our perspective and use it as an opportunity for reflection, prayer, study, and deep conscious activity. Whether we are stuck in traffic or hit some obstacles with our physical bodies (which is another vehicle), we have to learn to use it and take control with a Jesus philosophy – discern the situation and make the most of it. We have to think bigger overall with our lives and not rush through it or consume all we can. More times than not, it’s not adding something to my life that makes the greatest impact, it’s usually removing something.  Like Shonell mentioned in her blog, “We are what we ___” are focused on, and the traffic we allow into our lives affects our output and potential. If the traffic is unavoidable, we have to learn to use it, stay above it, and ultimately decide for ourselves how we would like to react to it.

The Rush

I believe the ‘rush’ and some of the driving behavior on the roads of our lives may be telling of the individuals’ driving. For the commute example, it’s really “crowded hour” on the road but perhaps we call it ‘rush hour’ because we are too busy or unwilling to surrender to the unavoidable traffic and construction that plagues our highways each summer and serves as a metaphor for our entire life? We get back on the “road” each day and hope for ideal conditions but regularly fall into our own trap, routines, and habits, and allow the stress to creep in and affect our lives knowing or unknowingly. Is this what God wants for our lives?

What are we in a hurry for?

I fear sometimes missing ‘life’ because of business, goals, or our blended family dynamics. It has been a goal of mine to manage this better these past few years in more ways than one. It’s taken me a long time to get where I am and really don’t understand why so many of us are in such a rush? Who or what is it that determines this rush, or what creates this “desirable” culture map of rushing and speeding through life? Why are we in a hurry or more importantly, why do we accept it? From my own experience, the rush is probably tied more to Western culture, capitalism, over-committing, and sacrifice of the Sabbath. I’m definitely guilty. However, I have experienced the complete opposite more often since the pandemic and have to say, I prefer a steady pace over a rushed one.

I don’t believe time management is exclusive to a clock and productivity. It’s our reactions, emotions, stress, sleep, and overall balance of dopamine, discipline, and obligation. I’ve learned a lot regarding time management in this program and also on mission trips. For example, I’ve been in Africa on a mission trip and time seems to be much less of a priority. A watch becomes fairly unnecessary and I have learned to translate “soon” or “5 minutes” as being anywhere between 30 minutes to multiple hours. With every experience, I feel like I gain much more than I give and learn a lot about what is truly important. The LGP Advances are very similar. You dive into the Spirit and remove yourself from the daily grind that has the power to influence so much of our lives. We have commutes, church, jobs, assignments, marriages, parenting, and responsibilities, and those are just a few of the super important categories. We also need to have self-care, rest, and wellness and we squeeze in a million other things like entertainment, social media, and extra-curricular events for ourselves and our families. We fall in line. Obey. And do not stop often enough to reflect on the direction this crazy ride is going.


So how does any of this relate to postmodernism? I think it is more of a real-life example of relativism, identity, consumer culture, and unfortunately, destruction that shapes our perspectives, understanding, and thinking. There is an undertone of the postmodern socialistic philosophy that impacts everything we do and somehow feels like we are hamsters on a wheel (or in a car) chasing a futile prize that feels empty in a globalist or Marxist world that we choose to define in our own rational way.  Is this feeling a hopeless cliché or is there someone or something holding the carrot and puppeteering this matrix of control? I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist but postmodernism, described by Stephen Hicks as the “Post-modern Left,” seems to be prevalent and overlooked as an intentional global plan led by a smaller number of individual groups and organizations working in conjunction with their agreed agenda; ultimately leading to a large group of impoverished individuals, and our own demise. Hicks describes postmodernism as a “deeply flawed and destructive intellectual movement.”[2] He claims postmodernists reject the idea of objective truth and argues that knowledge is shaped by power structures and perspectives.”[3] It influences our education, reason, or opposition to reason, focuses on identity politics, and has a significant universal value system of indoctrination that sometimes feels unavoidable.

He illustrates the middle class getting squeezed out by a cyclical dominance of the rich over the poor. He describes it as a “brutal competitive capitalistic struggle of the free market.” And that “successive rounds of competition” produce winners and losers. “Some claw their way into the rich sector” while others lose their seat at the table.[4]  In the end, the rich will shrink in number, and increase in wealth, and the income and asset inequality become completely dominated by a small group of individuals who gain ultimate control. U.N. and W.E.F. anyone?


I’m often uncertain when it comes to the fine details and various philosophies and versions of Socialism. Particularly Marxism, Communism, Relativism, Pluralism, Imperialism, Internationalism, Proletariat Dictatorships, and what seems like a dozen more social categories and struggles that all seem to make sense in some regard but also somehow completely miss the big picture in some obvious ways. Capitalism and economics in general are obvious major players in all forms of socialism and for me, that is a red flag. I agree and enjoy a lot of capitalism but I’m also aware of its dangers, even on a small scale. The Bible speaks of money and although “money is the root of all evil,” is often misquoted from 1 Tim. 6:10,[5] the point (misquoted or not) sends people in the right direction. What Paul is eluding to in the epistle to Timothy is that the Love of economics leads to evil. Not just money itself. Money can do great things but our desires are what discredits it. As Caleb mentioned in his blog, Jesus states our love for God should be our number one desire, which will ripple into loving each other. If we get these two commandments right, I don’t really think we have to worry about anything else.


[1] Hicks, Stephen; Postmodernism Ronald, Stephen. Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault. Roscoe, Illinois, Ockham’s Razor Publishing, 2011.

[2] Stephen Hicks: How Failed Marxist Predictions Led to the Postmodern Left. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKMwJo9DHUQ

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] 1 Timothy 6:10


Miloh & Shiloh are biological brothers seven months apart in age.


About the Author

Michael O'Neill

Director of Operations / Executive Pastor at Kinergy, Inc. Federal 501c3 Non-Profit Organization. An experienced entrepreneur, leader, father, wellness professional, and owner of a multi-location medical practice with my wife, Nicole O'Neill, MD.

13 responses to “Life Traffic”

  1. mm David Beavis says:

    Hey Michael,

    First off, thanks for sharing the pictures of your dogs! That brought me joy.

    Secondly, thank you for sharing your observations from the reading. Isn’t it funny how proponents of postmodernism don’t play by their own rules. As you quoted from Hicks, they dismiss the idea of objective truth because “knowledge is shaped by power structures and perspectives.” But even that is an objective truth claim coming form a power structure!

    What do you see as a real-world example of such inconsistencies in postmodernism?

  2. Michael O'Neill says:

    Amen! Postmodernism is contradictory and it is funny as you put it because it has a grudge and component of resentment that is ridiculous and hypocritical. How can we take any view seriously when it rejects objective truth and metanarratives while presenting its own metanarrative that criticizes overarching narratives or power structures itself? So pointless…

    To answer your question, I see inconsistencies in the Church. I feel like congregations cave to societal pressure on sensitive topics like gay marriage or clergy and many other absolutes. They also bend or reconstruct other behaviors i.e. the eucharist, baptism, confession, or ceremonial practices, etc. but that is probably more in line with ‘preparing the way for future bending.’ What I mean is that if we already have created a culture of “we’re correct, or we’re the only ones going to heaven, or you have to do it this way” mentality, we’ve divided ourselves similarly to postmodernism which includes resentment, division, and destruction – ultimately leading to the opposite of unity in Christ like he taught.

    I enjoyed the book but really fell in love with some of the debates and perspectives of postmodernism, especially Jordan Petersons’ “Postmodernism: How and why it must be fought.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cf2nqmQIfxc

    Thanks, David!

    • Michael O'Neill says:

      Also, the dogs are Chinese Crested. They are the dominant force in the World’s Ugliest Dog competition (real thing), and have captured the title at least ten times since 2000. I’m not sure how many global competitions your dog is favored in, but mine are a safe bet and fan favorite every year in this illustrious K9 contest.

      Our family actually thinks they are stunning. They are really smart and the most lovable dogs ever. I don’t even think they’re Chinese but I did read somewhere they were used as pets on long boat voyages. They kept down the rodent population and offered joy and companionship to sailors.

      • Kristy Newport says:

        Your dogs!! What stellar dogs!
        It sounds like you invest some time in keeping up with their popularity! Do you take them to dog shows? Sounds like some great pets. I bet your kids love them. Thanks for sharing!!

        • Michael O'Neill says:

          Ha. No to ‘shows’ or anything like that. Most people find them hideous and many people ask me what kind of animal they are because they are not sure if they are actually dogs. We love them very much like any family would. Thanks for loving them too.

  3. Tonette Kellett says:


    The pictures of your dogs are a great bonus to your post! Thanks for that. I love how you ended your blog. I agree that it’s true – if we get these two commandments right, we’ll have nailed the message. We won’t have anything else to worry about overall. Great post once again!

  4. Kristy Newport says:

    Great use of your traffic/commute time on Tuesday nights!! Thanks for sharing how this impacted your learning this week.

    I am curious what our discussion will be like on Monday. I have wondered the same:

    Post-modern Left,” seems to be prevalent and overlooked as an intentional global plan led by a smaller number of individual groups and organizations working in conjunction with their agreed agenda; ultimately leading to a large group of impoverished individuals, and our own demise.

    I like how you referenced Shonells and Calebs posts. Great job weaving in their comments

    • Michael O'Neill says:

      Thanks, Kristy. I stand by that statement although I hate to get too political on here. It just seems so obvious at times. I don’t understand how some things get passed and what or who is even running the show at times. It’s scary and I’m glad we answer to the one authority we can always trust, Jesus.

  5. Michael O'Neill says:

    Thanks, Tonette. Jesus the only way and postmodernism seems to reject it so I reject postmodernism.

  6. Michael – Once again you managed to make a heavy topic relatable and even humorous (your dogs are amazing)! It’s interesting how postmodernity tends to dismiss capitalism as “evil” because of it encourages the wealth to remain in the upper class, yet we know that socialism and marxism have their own ills. What are some of the strategies you and your family use to not fall prey to the lure of money in this fallen world?

    • Michael O'Neill says:

      Thanks, Laura. I guess we stay generous. That is one way we balance capitalism and temptations. Another way my family combats getting caught up in money is that we talk about it as a tool regularly in our home. Not as a goal. The more tools we have, the more of a blessing we can be.

      Postmodernism is hypocritical in so many ways. It just doesn’t make sense to me.


  7. Dr. Oneill,

    I really enjoyed your post, I actually enjoyed your responses in your comments the most. I appreciate that you are a man of uncompromise. Bless you my friend. Well done!

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