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Monday, September 28, 2020

Stewardship and Restriction

 A passage in Amy Jill Levine's book, "Sermon on the Mount," grabbed me this morning.

Only the meek, those who would not use the inheritance to reinforce their own already privileged position, are worthy to care for the land. They understand stewardship, they understand restriction of activity (for what one can do is not necessarily what one should do), and they understand their responsibility in turn to pass the land to others.

What reached out and grabbed me particularly is the line about what we can do not being necessarily what one should do. We humans are capable of so many things, both for good and for evil. Perhaps me would do well to stop and think, I can  ..., but should I ...?  We would do well as an individual, as part of a community, as part of a nation, as part of earth, as a person on a spiritual path, to ask, should I, should we?

I think this grabbed me this morning partially because I am on the cusp of making some decisions that are potentially major. Whichever decisions I make lead to new paths that would have surprises, unintended consequences. Neither seems wrong from the vantage point of now. Not being able to see into the future, I must pick between several seemingly good choices. I can pick this one or that one, but should I?

And I see on my news feed and television a bunch of people doing things they can do, but surely shouldn't do. It occurs to me stewardship and restriction are not often taught. Total freedom and hedonism are played out. A person can do anything, but there are consequences, legally and karmically. Has someone forgotten to teach this?

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