I’ve seen a few people on Facebook share an image from theologian Benjamin Corey and I have to say that it bothers me.
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I plopped the baby on the ground beside me, mail already scattered across the grass like clumsy confetti. He lunged for the letters; I snatched them up and sighed. A long, muggy summer afternoon; too-hot kids whining about everything under the sultry sun and still hours to go before dinner. The baby grabbed the envelopes again. I gave in. Junk mail; who cares, he was happy. So I reached for the magazine instead.
A friend of mine recently posed this question on Facebook: Junior high girls braiding each other’s hair in church: appropriate or not? Considering this friend has never been a junior-high girl nor parented a junior-high girl, the question seemed sincere and did not bother me. What did bother me, however, was the frequency with which one particular word kept popping up in the comments: distracting.
For months, at the urging of my spiritual director, I have been praying to find my heart’s desire, to find that thing (not a person—I have those) that inspires me, energizes me; my flow. But you pray for something long enough, and the prayer goes unanswered, and eventually you stop praying for the thing.
There’s more than a year to go before the presidential election, and, already, I am weary of the campaign. When I can manage simply to view the candidates as performers, some talented and others not so much, and hear their speeches as scripts in an over-the-top television series, the political news is entertaining.
Not a day that goes by that I don’t wonder if I chose the wrong profession. Friends who went to graduate school for disciplines other than theology—law, business, or medicine—pull in six figures; their lifestyles make me a bit envious. I heard a story on the radio recently of a CEO who makes $13,000 an hour (not, it turns out, an unusual CEO pay rate) and my first thought was, “I’m young … I could still do that.”
I stared at the headline for a while in mute silence: “Austrian police say up to 50 migrants’ bodies found in truck.” It’s the kind of headline that you read and think, “Whatever awful realities will unfold underneath those words, they surely shouldn’t be nicely filed there on the side bar of a website, right underneath news of Celine Dion returning to perform in Las Vegas or Apple’s latest “media event” or the latest round of lies promises being served up by politicians on the election trail today. They shouldn’t be nicely filed anywhere. But there they are.