You and I, Disappointments

David Burchard Writings Leave a Comment

Plenty of life is disappointing. The situations you find yourself in are disappointing. You yourself are disappointing.

That’s true no matter who you are.

And it’s true that in one way or another you like the idea of being able to blame someone else for your disappointing self and situation.

That’s why it’s so easy to trick people into thinking income inequality is an injustice that should be addressed. We are greedy, envious, jealous people. And my not having what he has is his fault, an injustice. Whew. I’m glad I got that off my chest. I feel much better now.

That’s why intersectionality has been so marketable to so many emotionally fragile folks. Life’s hard. It regularly micro and macro aggresses you, like a white man who isn’t sufficiently enlightened to feel guilty for his proclivity to turning pink in the sun. Are you telling me that I don’t have to just press through the struggle? I can actually claim layers of victimization from unspecific sources and gain in life without work? That really is what I’ve been looking for. I was thinking about dabbling in Buddhism, but now I know that my discomfort with it wasn’t the soy sauce or the sneaky, silent “h”, but the skinny and fat cisgendered male in charge of it.

Life is disappointing. You and I are disappointing. In fact, I’m confident that I’m better than you in this category, the being disappointing category. Things like socialism and intersectionality respond to how disappointing we are by portraying having and achieving as wrong. But the Bible responds differently.

It has verses like Proverbs 17:2. “A servant who acts wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully, and will share in the inheritance among brothers.” The focus of the verse is a man born a servant, not a son of wealth. He’s like the guy who loves football, but was born with Frodo Baggins genetics. What is Solomon’s prescription for him? What does the wisest of sages tell this servant born man to do? Send the man born with privilege to the guillotine? Plead for affirmative action? Ask for a level playing field? No, no, and no. Solomon doesn’t tell the servant that the son is his problem, even though the son acts shamefully. He tells the servant to conduct himself in wisdom. Work, move, and breath with wisdom, fearing God and keeping his commands; and it will be alright.

Honestly, Solomon demonstrates a shocking lack of empathy, sympathy, and a long list of other pathologies in this verse. To look at a man born in a low station and just tell him to hike up his britches and fear and obey God in his life? Such thinking is why we’re stuck with Trump. Solomon is just too simplistic. He just doesn’t understand the plight of the servant—and how could he, born to a life of saucers and baby mediation?

Too bad God chose such a privileged, ignorant guy to write so much Bible, am I right? I think we need another Bible translation. Modernized to better fit our better understanding of life—like a CSB or NIV, but funded by New York Methodists and Episcopalians.

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