The Remedy for Darkness

ab-blog-12-2016

 

John the Baptist was a strange duck.

He lived out in the desert, he ate insects, he wore camel hair, he dowsed people in a river.

John marched to a different drummer.  He was odd and society would not have him.  But John was a witness.  He knew something to which no one else was privy.  He had seen something and John did what witnesses do: He testified.

The Gospel of John (written by a different John) tells us in chapter 1 verse 7 that John the Baptist came to testify about light.

I am sure we have all cursed the existence of Legos as they sink into the bottom of our feet in the darkness of our child’s room. We have all broken a pinky toe on the stray chair leg as we fetch a glass of water in the middle of the night.  We have all had to catch our breath as we narrowly avoid a collision with a wild animal on dark country roads. 


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Compromise Paralysis

Image result for arguing in congress
 
During our recent visit to The Capitol in Washington D.C., we watched a video on how, in a representative government, people with diverse ideas and values can come together “for the common good.” Our government is a system based on conversation and compromise. Each vested party shares in the conversation (often a debate) and over time (sometimes very slowly) a way forward emerges. Usually there are many who are not at all pleased with the outcome. Yet, as the saying goes, “the majority rules.”
There is an ongoing tension inherent within this system, which even the word “compromise” itself shows. The word can have a negative meaning, like, “Don’t compromise on your values.” In the wider conversation, it is important for people to “hold fast” to their ideas and not compromise, or “water down” on what strikes at the very core of their values. We often get very frustrated with our government officials who, in the name of coming to an agreement, seem to give way on a core platform or position.

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