Friday, December 3, 2010


I'm feeling hedged in, a bit. Partly I think it's a case of Nature Deficit Disorder. Normally during this time of year I cope with the shortened hours of the day by spending plenty of time well-bundled up and working up a sweat on the hiking trails... but my ankle is still healing and it's hard to keep warm when you only go about 1.5 mph. I have a longer leash, now that I can walk nearly 1/2 mile per day, but that doesn't quite do the trick.

Partly, though, it's the seminarian's conundrum: so much thinking, so little action! Our ethics class (on food systems) read Animal Vegetable Miracle together and I am practically hopping up and down with the pent-up desire to DO the local-eating, mad-farmer-for-fun thing, but hopping is hard on one foot, and gardening is hard work too, and I'm barely finding the time to keep my basil plants trimmed.

On Sunday I preached yet another incarnation of my manna sermon, going off script to tell stories from last summer's Presbyterian Hunger Program Roadtrip. I compared the US' food system to Egypt and the food movement (an amalgam of the locavore-gleaner-community-gardening set) to the Hebrew people setting out into the wilderness. I want it too. I want OUT of the enslavement of Egypt, the cheap bad food that's poisoning us. I want to no longer have any complicity in the enslavement of my immigrant brothers and sisters in unspeakable field labor conditions, or in the dumping of cheap corn on the international market, destroying traditional agriculture worldwide.
But it's nice in Egypt, because my food is delivered to me by the industrial food complex. It's convenient. I don't have to get my hands dirty. So i'm still here, idly wondering when I'll get around to getting the heck out.

What's interesting is how much my ethics professor's prodding DOESN'T affect my desire to get out of Egypt. She writes long lists of things we should feel guilty about on the board, and I get stubborn and reactive and dig my heels in. Don't you dare try to guilt-trip me out of my time-honored ways. When I leave, I'm running not away from guilt but toward a better life. When I leave, I'm leaving for love and joy.

1 comment:

  1. God, writing lists of terrible, guild-inducing things is such a horrible way to inspire anyone to do anything. How much did pre-Exile warnings help the Israelites? Not a bit.

    The only way out is to show everyone something better. Guilt-tripping me just makes me feel worse, and less likely to act on anything.