I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept. –Angela Davis
This is of course the opposite of the serenity prayer, all about accepting the things we cannot change. No surprise, it comes from a radical activist and professor whose political resume would make many blanch! But her words are an essential challenge to me, a comfortable person living a comfortable life, and trying, I admit, to avoid sounding too radical, too controversial, and, well, too committed. But this morning I was preaching on John 16, and it sure sounded as though Jesus’ committed followers should expect some persecution, and should expect to be called to account for their faithfulness in the public square. Instead, we expect to feel comfortable and respectable, and we whine when it doesn’t turn out like that.
What happened to us? Who have we become? Let us be radical proponents of truth, love, and justice. Or let us be selfish gluttons for comfort without remorse. I suspect that the effort to compromise–to be gentle voices of truth, modest workers for justice, stinting lovers–is killing our faith. Are we in or are we out?