Ministerial Meandering

Legacy of inconvenience


As most philosophers and psychologists have told us repeatedly, life is not

easy. Once realized, it begins to make more sense, when you understand

that you are not in for a smooth ride and that there will many bumps in the


Those who hang on to the childish attitude that the world revolves around

them, and that life owes them some sort of living, are going to be the

grumpy, selfish SOBs that demand, bully, coerce, and control. There is

rarely an excuse for their behaviour, though there is often a reason for it.

Usually it is that they were brought up that way, and are only copying the

behaviour that they have learned.


Be that as it may, such people still know, deep down, that what they’re

doing is wrong, often cruel, and frequently criminal. Nevertheless, they

have managed to bury their consciences so deep that they no longer listen

to them, and now only listen to the siren call of the song they want to hear -

which is usually about how wonderful they are, sung by sycophants and the



Our job, in the living of our lives, is much less convenient. We have to

learn and understand that the way we live our lives not only affects our

world view, but it also affects the world view of others. In other words, how

we choose to live our lives can either build up or destroy both our own

potential and the potential of others.


We know that evil exists in the world - we have only to read the

newspapers or watch the news on television; so it should not be too great a

step to grasp that good can and does exist also. But doing good and being

good are not the same thing. One is often ‘done’ for admiration, the other

is not so much ‘done’ as ‘lived’.

And the ‘living’ of good (if that is not too clumsy a way of putting it) is not

about the person who is doing the living, but about the possibility for that

way of living to be passed on to those with whom such a person comes into



We live somewhere in the base of a moral triangle, the apex of which is the

highest moral good. Some might call such a zenith ‘God’, or for those of us

who call ourselves Christians, we would call that highest point Jesus - the

ultimate moral human being.


Most of us would find it hard to claim we were anywhere near approaching

such an apex, so we are left with a legacy of what I am calling

‘inconvenience’, because it is - in human terms - unachievable. But that

does not mean that our efforts are in vain.

I recently read again The Prayer of St Francis (‘Make me an instrument of

thy peace…’) and realized that St Francis also had to struggle with living as

though his life might affect others for good. After all, he was born with a

silver spoon in his mouth and a Ferrari in the garage; he made the most of

both while he was a young man - until he met a beggar.


If the way we choose to live our lives - however inconvenient - can affect

the choices and lifestyle of others, then perhaps, just possibly we may be

able to spread a way of living that is as attractive as evil, but in the opposite

direction. And when people see that no-one is hurt, damaged, betrayed,

deserted, or destroyed by our way of living - then it might just catch on.


It’s got to be worth a try.



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