Friday, January 24, 2014

How We Started

One of the last rides with my mother was down a country road. We came to a basic, country scene. An older woman, with a stick in her hand was leading a herd of milk cows from their pasture, across the road to their barn.

My mother told how she had made a big mistake in her life, by working for all the modern improvements she had wanted. "I would have been happier living like that," she said. Too late, soon she was dead. But I thought often of what she said.

Have we gone too far in modernization? But this is not to be a diatribe about modernity and its downside. Rather I would like to think how the so-called primitive people of the Bible and their modes of life speak to us so touchingly.

C.S. Lewis described a theme for a ballet scene. It involves a shepherd boy with his pipes of Pan. Now contrast this with a ballet of lawyers dancing with their brief cases. I suppose a modern performance could be made of it, but somehow the basic appeal would not be there.

David, going out to meet Goliath with an AK-47, has the same problem. Jesus dying in an electric chair or gas chamber would rob us a the great emblem of the cross. He stumbled under the weight of it, he was nailed to it, and he died for us on it.

So, when you read of shepherds, and those sowing and reaping grain, does this beautiful simplicity not touch your heart? Ruth, in her poverty, gleaning grain in her apron, rather than applying for welfare, makes the story all work out.

We have gained much through technology, but we have lost so much.

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