“…from protest to…good work.”

A poignant question from Wendell Berry, in his The Art of Loading Brush:

“The great question now…is how to get from protest, or fear or anger or guilt, to the actual accomplishment of good work. By good work I mean work that is necessary, enduringly valuable, pleasing to the worker, … Our movements of protest are typically addressed to political leaders, demanding correction or improvement in the future. They always involve crowds in public places,…the shouting of slogans, a sort of T-shirt oratory, but never a suggestion of good work that the participants can go home and do.”

This is from the chapter titled, “Leaving the Future Behind: A Letter to a Scientific Friend”, where he makes the observation that so much of our attention is consumed by preparing for the future – be it reasonable plans or fear-driven paranoia. If we are not careful, though, we end up missing the present – the only actual thing we will definitely get to see.

The Bible says we are to redeem the time for the days are evil. In general, I take that to mean that the days are always evil. I believe that this world is not going to get better and better, and therefore we should be present, living lives that stand out from the others that we are near so that they too can come to know our great God.

What do you think?

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