Monday, December 02, 2013

The Challenge Continues, Day 330: Micah 1; Psalm 73-112; Matthew 23

"Someone Should..."
I had a colleague, one whose habit, because they were observant and smart, was to note what issues or tasks needed to be addressed with, "Someone should..." The downside? That person could easily note that someone should attend to an issue that needed to be addressed, and yet they never seemed to be that someone...nor did they ever have a solution in hand. I found that frustrating.

My own habit is, I am sure, equally frustrating to those around me...I am always able to see how something won't work. When I was younger, I had a more senior colleague pull me aside and inform me that in many years of work in the private and public sectors, he had seldom met someone who was so good at shooting down ideas. Since that moment, I have worked hard not to let that negativity be my default response. It leeks out occasionally, and of that I repent.

I see both of these traits being addressed in today's readings. The "someone should" and "it isn't possible" are elements of our shadow selves that I know we don't have patience with in the people around us (and if we lack patience, how much more so does God!). With a "someone should" we can too easily dismiss a call to action on behalf of those in need or want, making the initiative someone else's responsibility and task. We ca name it, but avoid claiming it. With a "that won't work" we can too easily throw up our hands and walk away, certain in our own knowledge that because it is a flawed system, a flawed choice that failure is imminent and thus action is to be avoided.

God has little patience for our human work-arounds that allow us to embrace the illusion that we are beyond responsibility for others, and their needs. The call is to see, to pray, to discern and then to act. It is not to sit on our thumbs and wait for someone else to act, nor is it for us to tear something apart before and attempt is made.

What is our part? To be willing to act, to be that someone who should and to be willing at the same time to fail boldly as we seek to help, assist, advocate, respond on behalf of the need for justice in the world.

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