Friday, October 13, 2006


I subscribe to a nerdly magazine called Books and Culture: a Christian Review. For me it really is a guilty pleasure -- it rarely contributes to my ministry, and is often tidbits of knowledge and discussion for knowledge's sake that have little relevance to much of anything except my own intellectual appetites. Anyway, at the beginning of a special feature in the September/October 2006 issue was this synopsis, which I read a couple of times, because it resonated with some thing that I often think about: "I want someone to write a book on 'heedlessness,' tracking the theme wherever it leads through the world's literature, the way Roberto Calasso does in his extraordinary books. For this, it seems, is the single most salient quality of American civilization in 2006: heedlessness. If the articles in this special section have a common theme, it is to urge us in the opposite direction: to pay attention, not least to consider the inadvertent consequences of our own actions; to look around at the places where we live and the bees and birds and rabbits and such as we share the land with. That is a progam that we should be able to agree on, without in any way supposing that all of our differences will thereby be resolved." Here's the thing -- I don't want to live a heedless live -- I want to pay attention to the world around me and the impact I'm making on it -- not just in terms of my ministry -- but in everything thoughtful, aware and therefore wise.

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