A year ago I was asked in a conference call if I knew of the “man in the arena”. Candidly, I did not. A short time researching the topic resulted in a copy of the full text of a Teddy Roosevelt speech tacked to my wall. As I recently began to catch up on my emails, a note from a blogger that I follow caught my attention, “The man in the arena”. I was taken back to my introduction to the speech, the battles that followed, and my views on life’s arena.
We, you and I, live in a battlefield. No matter how gently we would like to reshape our views, we are in a war. The stakes are high. Will compassion trump justice? Does our community survive? Do we?
Even with the hope of a new dawn, I know that I do not know the answers to the questions. I believe the answers to not matter! The question is one of engaging. Will we be part of something better than what is? Are we willing to risk all for the chance of more? Will we stand by and say/do nothing?
The question is not new. It has repeated itself across the generations. When a writer stepped into the battle of his time, he was willing to put himself on the line. “Why would you stoop to desecrating God’s church? Why would you actually shame God’s poor? I never would have believed you would stoop to this. And I’m not going to stand by and say nothing.” (1 Corinthians 11.22)
It is a question that one must answer for her/himself. I wish I could make it for others. I cannot. We think we are called into the arena. In reality, we are already there. We do have a choice. We can stand by and say nothing. We can align ourselves with whatever is easy. We can also stand up and for truth. The immediate outcome is never certain. I do believe Divinity wins in the end; compassion trumps justice, community is over I. Love is everything.