I painted this Oil when we lived in Andover, Minnesota. Unfortunately, I didn’t sign or date it. I like the wild natural scene. I also wanted to use cool colors for sky and trees. I chose it in connection with our key Thought for today—Sustainability—often defined as the practice of using natural resources responsibly today, so they are available for future generations tomorrow. Few would disagree.
In the past six months I’ve watched the evening news lead story shift from major political party fights; to coronavirus pandemic; to racial injustice. Rather than ‘shifting’, it’s more like a ‘pile on’. Each new lead story piled on the previous. What else might be on the horizon to insert itself before the November election? Stay tuned.
I watched the creation of several blocks in Seattle, Washington declare itself an autonomous Police free entity. One commentator’s essential analysis was: “This entity is ‘not sustainable’’.
It does not have the DNA for survival. Regardless of the merit of outcomes desired, this method cannot succeed.
SUSTAINABILITY is often defined as the practice of using natural resources responsibly today, so they are available for future generations.
When asked what do Americans value most? ‘Freedom’ often tops a list of options. Applying that response to our definition looks like this: Sustainable ‘Freedom’ is the practice of responsible use of ‘Freedom’ today, so ‘Freedom’ is available for future generations.
It seems to me Freedom has two key perspectives:
Freedom from something undesirable and unsustainable and Freedom to something desirable and sustainable. I believe one example is: Freedom from systemic racial inequity to systemic racial equity. How does a city, or a nation, move from one undesirable to a desirable present and future?
First: I believe the undesirable must be defined, in all its forms, where freedom is lacking, and overcome by peaceful means.
Second: I believe the desirable must be defined, implemented and sustained by constant review of conditions necessary for freedom to thrive.
It seems to me racial inequity is an Achilles’ heel threatening the American way of freedom envisioned in the minds and hearts of the nation’s founding fathers. In every way it continues to weakens us as a nation.
Os Guinness writes: “[T]he ultimate threat to the American republic will be Americans. The problem is not wolves at the door but termites in the floor” The future of the republic depends on whether America will rise to the challenge of living up to America’s unfulfilled potential for freedom both for itself and for the world.”
The emancipation proclamation of 1862-63 was a start toward racial equity. The Civil Rights act of 1964 was a further step. What can be accomplished, now? Abraham Lincoln said: “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all times, or die by suicide.”
There are many facets to what I suggest as First and Second actions above. Government, education, finance, corporations, health and many others will each be in a position to make positive contributions in both definition of the current undesirable racial inequities and the desirable sustainable present and future for racial equity.
In my opinion, if church leadership and congregations from all racial backgrounds don’t ‘together’ take a prominent presence at the table, any effort will ultimately fall short of a sustainable outcome for generations to come. I believe sustainability is a heart issue.
“Know the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. And we who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing joy, which come from the Lord who is the Spirit.’
2 Corinthians 3:17, 18
MY PRAYER IS that followers of Jesus, ‘marching’ through our daily lives, will so manifest the sustaining ‘Freedom’ of God’s love, in the power of the Holy Spirit, that all races and creation, will recognize where the grace originates to sustain this nation and its positive influence for ‘Freedom’ to the world.
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.