Barbara Brown Taylor is thought-provoking in a piece she writes about Lent. She describes the comforts we are so fond of (like my favourite cardigan and slippers) and our relationship to them. She says:
These things made them feel safe and cared for — if not by God, then by themselves. They decided there was no contradiction between being comfortable and being Christian, and before long it was very hard to pick them out from the population at large. They no longer distinguished themselves by their bold love for one another. They did not get arrested for championing the poor. They blended in. They avoided extremes. They decided to be nice instead of holy, and God moaned out loud.
It’s a good piece – worth reading in its entirety. Challenging for me is the idea that I might value the ways I take care of myself, as if I’m independent and self-sufficient, moreso than the ways God takes care of me. It is probably a misuse of Carl Sagan‘s quote, as he was a secular humanist, but it does remind me of this:
“If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.”