Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, October 5, 2011

As long as you're green, you're growing.
As soon as you're ripe, you start to rot.

Ray Kroc, founder of McDonalds;
he was born on this date, 1902

Hmmm. Ray Kroc became one of the richest men in the world because he gave people, as he said himself, what they loved. From my personal point of view, he have the world a lethal killer. I rarely ever ate anything from McDonalds, and I have never eaten anything from McDonalds since the day I discovered over 20 years ago that a kid was thrown off his high school wrestling team for drug taking ….. only to discover that it came from the steroids that he ate everyday in McDonalds’ beef. I probably wouldn’t be quoting Ray Kroc, if it weren’t for the fact that his wife, in her will, left millions to NPR in order to make it more independent of political money.

The quote is a little questionable and confusing in terms of its usefulness. The whole point of a plant is to ripen and then to provide full rich nourishment! Yes, if you don’t use it then, at the ripened point, it loses its value. So what has this image to say about being fully human?

To me, it speaks to the wisdom of knowing when to be planted, to die, and then to produce a rich harvest. Yes: that deep wisdom Jesus spoke of. The skill and art of living on that elegant balanced point between vigourous “greenness”, of growth, and of ripeness before rot begins to set in. This, I think, is the art of Love. We must always be growing in Love - and when at any point our Love ripens, we must be willing to “die”, to give it away so that it can nourish and sustain. And out of every giving away, new Love will sprout and grow.

Life is about always being “green”, about ripening, about never allowing the ripe fruit of Love to rot unused. I don’t want to push the metaphor too far - but the cross, in the Christian story, is of a rich fully developed Love poured out at the fullest moment in order to give Life to the World.

In a life of Love, artfully lived, there is freshness and ripeness. Nothing is left to rot.


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