“I wake each morning torn between the desire to improve the world and the desire to enjoy it. That makes it hard to plan the day.” (E.B. White)
I resonate with E. B. White’s dilemma.
I know what it is like to get up in the morning and fill my lungs with the breath of life, glad to be alive, glad for the sun that rises and the moon that sets, and the gift of it all. It feels wonderful then, to be alive. Maybe it does for you too.
And I know what it is like to wake up to the news and feel the call to action, the call to reduce my carbon footprint, to welcome immigrants and refugees, to work for humane and compassionate social policies, to provide food for all children, to stop the killing of black men on the streets of our land. Maybe it does for you too.
Where I part company with E. B. White, is in experiencing them as oppositional. As if they are mutually exclusive. Not so, for me.
My desire to improve the world is a part of my deep love for and appreciation of it. One way in which I enjoy the world, is in feeling its responsiveness to the works of love in which I and others engage. Change is possible, and we can be a part of it. Walking to raise money for MAAV and for the Bread of Life, are ways in which members of this congregation are both enjoying and improving the world. They don’t need to be separate!
It’s like that with church as well. We can love and enjoy the church even as we seek to improve it. In fact, I think that is exactly what is called for. All the time! Because part of loving the church, is loving learning and growing, which is what we do in church together. And we are going to be doing that, you and me. Intentionally. During this time of transition, we have been given a gift of time and opportunity. We can look at the faith community you have forged and loved, and through those eyes of love and care, discern the ways we can improve it. Challenge becomes a call to engagement.
I am excited about it. We have so much to learn and so much to love. My friends, come; let us enter this grace filled, opportunity rich time with a joyous resolve, to improve what we have, even while we love it with all our hearts and souls. It is the work of the faithful. There is nothing better.