Slothfulness in the Land

Many of you will remember the story of the industrious ant and the lazy grasshopper. When fall rolled around, the ant got busy storing up food and preparing for the coming winter. The grasshopper laughed at the hard-working ant. The ant ignored the foolish grasshopper's ridicule and went about his work. Autumn eventually turned into winter. As the snow fell and the winter winds blew, the grasshopper would have starved if not for the kindness of the little ant.

King Solomon advised slothful people to study the ant (Proverbs 6:6). Ants are unselfish; each ant works for the good of the community. If everyone was this industrious and caring, a number of problems in our communities would be solved. "Lazy hands make a person poor, but diligent hands bring wealth" (Proverbs 10:4). But slothfulness is in the land.

Poor people and the system have not had the friendliest of relationships. Part of the blame lies in the system's pride, confusion, and limitation. It acts with defensive hostility, while fearfully clutching to the status quo.

CALL TO RENEWAL believes the future of authentic religion, with healing power for our nation and a truly reliable relationship between the system and the poor, takes us back to the church—the church in Jesus' mind, not the one that's in ours. Back to a new honesty, back to a bright tomorrow that only starts today.

It's time to renew. It takes new vision to reach new generations of Americans who are searching for spiritual truth. Call to Renewal believes that these generations will not search for truth in the traditional churches that mirror the 1940s and 1950s, when half of America was in church on Sunday morning. With a new millennium three years away, churches must come to grips with their declining situation, cast a fresh vision for renewal, and commit to it.

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Sojourners Magazine November-December 1997
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