Our choice

In the name of more we destroy
for coal the mountain and its forest
and so choose the insatiable flame
over the green leaf that within our care
would return to us unendingly
until the end of time

Wendell Berry
Sabbaths 2008 II

Love Wins

Christianity and War

The Church Father Justin Martyr described the peaceful nature of the early Christians: “We who hated and slew one another, and because of differences in customs would not share a common hearth with those who were not of our tribe, now, after the appearance of Christ, have become sociable, and pray for our enemies, and try to persuade those who hate us unjustly, in order that they, living according to the good suggestions of Christ, may share our hope of obtaining the same reward from the God who is Master of all.”

Love Wins

A prayer

My friend Ann posted this prayer as a comment on this blog recently and in case y’all missed it, I wanted to share it. 

Lord God, forgive us for being mindless destroyers of Your creatures and creation, without considering the cost and consequences of attitudes that leave behind death and destruction.  We’re desperate to go back to Your plan…please show us the way.  Lead us, Lord!

AMEN

Love Wins

Ramblings

Early in my legal career, while enduring the hazing that comes with being a young lawyer, I got to know a distinguished English professor who served with me on a charitable board.  In those days I was spending a lot of time feeling sorry for myself.  I was miserable at work and certain that I would have been happy had I become a history professor instead of a lawyer.  So I admired this elderly English professor and envied his professional life.

One evening he and I were talking (he was a Dickens scholar and chairman of his department) and I told him that I thought he must have one of the best jobs on the planet.  He paused and said, “Well, if I had it to do over again, I’d go into hotel management.  That’s what I’ve really always wanted to do.”  I was shocked speechless.

I shouldn’t have been.  Probably the vast majority of us end up in jobs that leave us unsatisfied.

Maybe that’s because it’s human nature to be unsatisfied.  But often it’s because we follow societal pressures into professions that just don’t suit us.  The legal profession, for example, is full of frustrated would-be novelists, poets, teachers, farmers and the like.  In one of John Grisham’s novels he wrote that if all jobs paid the same, 90% of American law schools would have to shut down.  Nevertheless, millions of non-lawyers look enviously at attorneys, thinking they must have it made.

We had a friend in Tampa who loved working with his hands and was very good at it.  But because of the social status of his parents, a career as a mechanic was out of the question.  So he was sent off to college and later suffered through a series of failed business ventures and professional flops.  Happens all the time.

Merle Haggard sang:

Wish I enjoyed what makes my living
Did what I do with a willing hand

Even the Hag gets the blues about his job?

I read recently that our collective angst over our jobs and “wasting our lives” is largely a function of an affluent society and upward mobility.   For billions of folks in the world (throughout history) every day is a struggle to survive.  There is no time to mope and whine about a personally unsatisfying  job.  Such folks would probably regard that concept as ridiculous.

But nevertheless, here most of us are.  Feeling alienated and sometimes lost.  As Thoreau put it, “most men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

Maybe  if I had a Ph.D and was teaching history somewhere, I’d spend too much time wondering if my life would’ve been better had I gone to law school.  Maybe.

But I think sometimes the right thing to do is swim against the stream.  Do something a little illogical.  Take a risk. 

Maybe it’s time to climb out of the boat.

Love Wins

Ready

I’m ready for the winds to change
I’m ready for a brighter day
I’m ready for the sun to shine down on me

I’m waiting for a song to sing
I’m looking for a brand new thing
I’m ready now to live a life that I believe

I want the world to turn because of love
And mercy to find each of us
Doing what we can to just believe, yeah

I want the world to know that You’re the One
Who fills me up and gives me hope
And brings about this change that’s in me

Oh yeah, I’m ready, yeah
You know I’m ready now

I’m ready for the truth to be
Something that can set us free
Does anybody still believe we’ll make it through?

I’m ready now to take a stand
To live life for more than myself
Tell me now, my friend, are you ready, too

I want the world to turn because of love
And mercy to find each of us
Doing what we can to just believe, yeah

I want the world to know that You’re the One
Who fills me up and gives me hope
And brings about this change that’s in me

Oh yeah, I’m ready, yeah
You know I’m ready now

I can’t sit around waiting for it all to change
It’s gonna take every single one of us doing what we can
There’s lots of fighting in this world but there’s so much loving too
So take my hand, I’m ready now for You

I want the world to turn because of love
And mercy to find each of us
Doing what we can to just believe, yeah

I want the world to know that You’re the One
Who fills me up and gives me hope
And brings about this change that’s in me

Oh yeah, I’m ready, yeah
You know that I’m ready, yeah, yeah

Lord knows I’m ready
You know I’m ready, oh yeah, yeah

I’m ready for the winds to change
I’m ready for a brighter day

Love Wins