Finding the Way

“We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it.” – Wendell Berry

“Disconnection” seems to be a common condition at the moment – whether it’s about learning to enjoy growing our own food again, or banks and the super rich who seem to have lost all sense of the value of money and how their actions effect the lives of millions of us – disconnection is it seems a big issue.

That’s what the quote from Wendell Berry is about too – the way that we have lived our lives (especially in the last 100 years or so) has become so disconnected from how we ought to live as humans living together on the same planet, a planet that has resources a plenty to sustain lives and provide for our various needs – instead we’ve become obsessed with “things” and just assumed that its ok to just take from the earth as if there’d be no price to pay in the end when things run out, or temperatures rise.

I read another blog this week about our need to reconnect: in it the author talks about our obession with “quick fixes” and easy solutions that really don’t offer any solutions at all just further problems – she also talks about the need we have to attempt to reconnect to the world around us.

That same sense of “disconnection” is exactly what the Old Testament prophets and later John the Baptist and Jesus were addressing when they talked about the need to turn and be closer to God. Jesus spoke specifically about following “The Way” – a way of being that was counter cultural, that took a stand against the “accepted wisdom” of the day, understanding that “family” is not just those we connect to through blood relations but everyone we live in community with, understanding that wealth and riches are no measure of how good someone is, nor is poverty the fault of those who are poor. In all his teaching Jesus reveals to us the need to become closer to God, as close as a parent and child – and to love the things that God provides (including our natural world) without loving the things the world (or perhaps more accurately humans) has given a false but higher value on. This is the language of reconnection.


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