Form and function are directly linked. Far too often in my life I disconnect the two. From all external appearances I am not alone. The connection between values, priorities, and everything we hold dear in our lives is lost in one moment or another. Being cynical about the problem is easy. Statements like “we have the wrong values”, “we are holding on to yesterday’s view”, “things change”, “get with it”, and “this is what everyone is doing” often flood our conversations. It seems we abandon, discard, and try to ignore without even challenging our actions.
The practical applications of the dilemma play out daily in your life and mine. How we respond to the person pushing into our personal space on the train is a simple problem. Do we act with graciousness in spite of or even because of his or her action? Is a simply “look” the answer? What about the person who takes advantage of politeness? Is it important to make a “statement” about the rights and wrongs of the situation? Is education the answer? If so, what kind?
I would like to suggest the following; talking about form and function, discussing the values we hold dear and how they play out in life, worrying about our role in the community is a good thing! Making mistakes, talking about the real “us”, and exploring the opportunities to do better, more, or things differently is a good thing. Even challenging the accepted norms, if only to understand why we hold them close to our heart is a good thing.
We don’t need to be caught as others have before us. God asked a question then; “When you come before me, who ever gave you the idea of acting like this, running here and there, doing this and that—all this sheer commotion in the place provided for worship?” (Isaiah 1.12) The question still applies, in all of our life.
Today’s canvas is wide open. We can use any color, texture, and degree of warmth. The “simple” question is this; when, where, and why?
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