Kahil Kibran adds an important extension to my thoughts of yesterday morning on “Living as I Have Never Lived Before.” We tend, as I did yesterday, to compartmentalize our lives, to see things piecemeal. I am a priest, a husband, a father, a friend. I have my vocation, my hobbies, my politics, my pleasures, and my travel. All of these things are part of me, bits of my life, and my life (every facet and bit of it) is my work (vocation). “Your work is YOU!”
E. Herman in her book, Creative Prayer, says of the saints, “Yet, they always seemed to hit the mark; every bit of their life told.” So, too, every bit of our lives constitute our work. Jesus calls us to be complete, to be one, to bring everything together, to be holy (whole). “Your work is YOU!”
Elton Trueblood wrote of the “holy conjunctions,” or a “third way” of thinking. In a world of “either-or” choices,” he suggested that we ought to pursue the course of “both-and.” If we take Kibran seriously in his assertion that, “Your work is you,” we must live out of this third way. I am both a father and a minister. I am both a friend and a traveler.; I am both a liberal and a conservative. I am both a person of prayer and an activist. I am both a person of faith and a person who thinks. Being “both-and” rather than “either-or” unites me as a person (“Your work is you”) and it can unite us as a nation, and unite us as a world. “Either-or” are un-holy conjunctions in that they divide and as Lincoln reminded our forefathers and mothers long ago, “A nation divided against itself cannot stand!” (Lincoln, by the way, borrowed these words from Jesus).
I should add that living this third way, the holy conjunction way, is a difficult work and takes a lot of hard thinking and discussion. Living the un-holy conjunctions of “either-or” is easy. Since you are “right” there is no need for further thinking or discussion.
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