Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How does your garden grow?

I think the 'church' has become good at the wrong thing.

We are good at campaigning about moral decay, and declaring what is 'Good' and 'Evil'. We make our uneven pronouncements with out ever seeing the bigger picture. We rail against the evils of misused Sex, but rarely do we hear discussions on misused Food or misused Money. And even more rarely do we hear a discussion about whether our pronouncements are misplaced.

In the beginning...

In the Creation narratives, God places Adam and Eve in the garden and they are to 1) Be fruitful 2) Care for the Garden and 3) Walk with God

We weren't created to issue pronouncements about 'Good' and 'Evil'. In fact God did not even create us to know the difference between the two. The tree was there but we were clearly told "Don't Touch". It seems that now we have eaten of the fruit of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil we want to make sure that everyone knows it. We issue our statements, declare opinion as fact, and leave the garden untended. We're too busy talking to go walking with God.

I feel hardwired this way. To stop my judgements feels wrong. If I stop judging others, then next I'll stop judging myself. If I stop judging myself then I might 'wander into sin'....but if I stop judging, maybe I'll start living.

I need to focus on tending the garden of my life. So that whatever seeds God plants can grow.

Voltaire knew this. 'Candide' is the satirical story of an Optimist who believes that 'all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds' In this scene from Bernstein's musical from the novel Doctor Pangloss explains how everything fits into this world.


The world is ordered and everything has its place...

...until Candide's world is turned upside down through a series of tragedies and misadventures.

At the end of the Opera Candide comes to the same conclusion I have: that the best we can do is tend our gardens.

"You've been a fool
And so have I,
But come and be my wife.
And let us try,
Before we die,
To make some sense of life.
We're neither pure, nor wise, nor good
We'll do the best we know.
We'll build our house and chop our wood
And make our garden grow...And make our garden grow.

I thought the world
Was sugar cake
For so our master said.
But, now I'll teach
My hands to bake
Our loaf of daily bread.
We're neither pure, nor wise, nor good
We'll do the best we know.
We'll build our house and chop our wood
And make our garden grow...And make our garden grow.

Let dreamers dream
What worlds they please
Those Edens can't be found.
The sweetest flowers,
The fairest trees
Are grown in solid ground.
We're neither pure, nor wise, nor good
We'll do the best we know.
We'll build our house and chop our wood
And make our garden grow.
And make our garden grow!"

I'm neither 'God enough' or good enough to be making statements about good and evil.
All my statements are stained by my own imperfections.
Let the rest of the world make judgements - I have a garden to tend and a God to walk with.

2 comments:

Ginger said...

My class is currently on p. 76 of Candide. Nice timing.

Also, I hadn't thought about the idea that Adam and Eve didn't recognize the difference between good and evil. Why would they? What an interesting idea! Thank you!

Pete the Brit said...

Have you ever seen the opera version by Bernstein? I have the concert version that was done (it's the first video clip in this post) and I really enjoy it!