Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"The good life is not easy," and that's good.

The writing of Andy Crouch is always thoughtful and thought provoking. His latest article, provocatively titled, Why I Am Hopeful, is no exception. Not many can see through the murk of the culture wars as keenly as Andy. Here's an example:
I believe the first step in culture making is not creating (let alone condemning, critiquing, or consuming) but cultivating: keeping what is already good in culture, good. American Christians, on the right and the left, have been painfully bad at cultivating. We want to jump to "transformation" and "impact" (words generally used on the right) or to "resistance" and "revolution" (favored words of the left). We often seem incapable of seeing ourselves first as gardeners: people whose first cultural calling is to keep good what is, by the common grace of God, already good. A gardener does not pull out weeds because she hates weeds; she pulls out weeds because she loves the garden, and because (hopefully) there are more vegetables or flowers in it than weeds. This kind of love of the garden—loving our broken, beautiful cultures for what they are at their best—is the precondition, I am coming to believe, for any serious cultural creativity or influence. When weeds infest the garden, the gardener does not take the opportunity to decry the corruption of the garden as a whole. She gets patiently, discerningly, to work keeping the garden good.
There's much more here. I don't know that I can say with Andy Crouch that I am hopeful, but Andy's assessment of the situation is well worth considering.


Anonymous said...

God told me to start a garden.

it was this spring, early one morning as i woke up i was being told to start a garden, and have others involved in it.

i imediatly got dressed and went to see my neighbor, an older widowed man, who has lived on his land all of his life. i told him that God told me to start a garden and he came over the very same day with his tractor and said "how big do you want the garden to be" and went straight away to tilling the area. after the plot was tilled, i started calling people to see if they would be interested in the garden. it has been a very interesting thing so far. God has taught me things through that garden, and i think that He is not done yet.

after i read this article, i was thinking about how man was evicted from the garden of eden, where i suppose all the food needed was supplied, and was forced to live outside of the garden and have to find food and eventually grow food. to toil and work and learn.

everything has it's own pace and time in a garden, and there is a lot of work for the food that is produced.

once i was on my knees weeding between the rows. i was a bit upset that i was not getting help in the weeding department. and at that moment God spoke to me...He said, "nancy, you weed the garden. you can tenderly and lovingly care for the garden so that it can grow. for that is what i do for you".

i know i posted about this when it happened, but, i thought i would mention it again, because this post reminded me of it so much.

Bob Spencer said...

wow. Thanks for the great contribution here, Nancy. As usual, you've added a lot to the conversation.