Why Bother?

This is probably not the best time to address this question, but what the heck!? It’s probably not the worst time either. It’s almost midnight on a warm summer evening…listening to the sound of water flowing in our small waterfall and stream just outside my home office…feeling the gentle breeze through the open window. Earlier this evening, I saw a photo that brought an unexpected emotion …our daughter posted a photo of all of our grandchildren on her Facebook page. On July 3, we had a delightful dinner gathering with all 4 of our children, all of their spouses and all 6 of our grandchildren…what a wonderful gathering that was! And then I was reflecting earlier this evening about the fact that we are now the eldest generation for all those beautiful people. Holy crap! That’s a big responsibility…I think we need to do something about it!

But…why bother? Carole came home tonight exhausted after meetings with staff members, working through the troubling consequences and future fallout from our dysfunctional political system. I sent off an email blast to United Methodist colleagues, asking for their help in dramatically changing the way we talk about moral and ethical dilemmas…looking for partnerships as we try to create a more civil way of talking with each other as caring Christians. And then…today I also sent another email blast to a group of NIF colleagues with some information about the latest innovations we’ve worked into our recent publications on California water priorities. The problems are so huge…and the resources are so sparse. So…why bother?

In the quiet of the evening, I hear the answer to this question as clearly as you do: because we’re asked…called…required to bother! We can’t NOT bother! Everyone who’s gone before looks to us to sustain their concern and love through yet another generation…and everyone who will follow looks to us to prepare the way for their beautiful and hope-filled lives. I don’t want to sound sappy, but we’re living at the crossroads of history…every day. We have the knowledge and experience of every generation that has lived and struggled before us…so we can make the wisest possible decisions for our own sakes and for the sakes of all future generations. This is serious business, friends! There is a lot at stake! So, why is it so easy to set it all aside, asking ‘Why bother?’ For our precious children and grandchildren, and for the neighbors with whom they will share life…we must be bold in dealing with our most serious dilemmas! Persistently…creatively…passionately!

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