As the political ads begin to build towards the fall election in California, I sense we are living in an age of ignorant innocence. This is not a cynical musing. There are many legitimate reasons for hope. Rather it’s a commentary on conflicting promises we demand from our politicians and the destination our paths seem to be taking us to.
We aspire to live in a clean, pure, and balanced society. At the same time we use scarce resources without thinking.
We demand safety, comfort, and peace. We also treasure our freedom, revel in our independence, and struggle with accountability.
We say we believe all are created equal, yet we worry when the neighborhood begin to change its color.
Voices gather around different causes, raising awareness, calling others to action. As new communities form, those on yesterday’s edges merely fall farther behind.
Conversations mix words of compassion with gossip, praise and judgment, truth with words design to shape conclusions; each word forming its own community of confusion and grayness.
If you and I are not careful we will support a path which ends up as the “earth is smashed to pieces, earth is ripped to shreds, earth is wobbling out of control, earth staggers like a drunk, sways like a shack in a high wind. Its piled-up sins are too much for it. It collapses and won't get up again. That's when God will call on the carpet rebel powers in the skies and rebel kings on earth.” (Isaiah 24.19-21)
Yet our destination is not predetermined. We have options. We control the ends. We always hold our ability to choose.
In the midst of reflection and celebration, of power and wonder, of hope and wonder, the question which always remains present is simply our choice. What will it be in this moment? Will we enjoy and appreciate the smile and beauty? Will we respond to the immediate with compassionate action? Destinations can seem to be at the end; in truth the ends lie in this moment, in your choice and mine.