Friday, September 23, 2011
TOO BUSY FOR GOD?
In analyzing the forces in our culture that work against a sense of contemplation, Ronald Rolheiser puts “pragmatism” high on the list. The following thoughts are from pages 40 and 41 of his book The Shattered Lantern.
He goes on to argue that when self-worth depends on achievement, then very few people are going to spend much time in prayer or contemplation since these are by definition not utilitarian efforts. They're useless in practical terms, a waste of time. Contemplation and prayer don’t accomplish anything, produce anything, or add anything concrete to life. He notes that we feel better about ourselves when we’re doing something useful.
REFUSING THE BANQUET INVITATION
“We have little time for what is useless and, for that, we are contemplatively the poorer. Caught up as we are in the efficiency demanded by our culture, we often end up like the people in Christ’s parable who refuse the king’s invitation to the wedding banquet (Lk 14:16-24). They did not turn down the invitation explicitly at all; they simply never showed up. They were too busy” (40-41). This interpretation of the parable seems to put the issue pretty starkly. The folks who had been invited had nothing against the king personally, they were simply too preoccupied with measuring land, testing oxen and going on honeymoons to accept his banquet invitation. Doesn’t that describe pretty well the situation of a whole lot of good people these days? They’re simply too busy to respond to the invitation to the Lord's banquet!
OUTGROWING MY NEED TO BE PRODUCTIVE