Hint: the difference is, one of them exists and the other one doesn’t. So, we can spend our lives chasing a mirage, or we can roll up our sleeves and get to work…
Our new neighbors are throwing us a welcome-to-the-neighborhood party.
Three hours in and I’m pinching myself a little, because everyone seems so kind and generous and, well, welcoming. But as the numbers start to thin, the most elderly man at the party steps forward and voices a complaint. He points out a problem: across the street, there is a small roundabout and, in recent months, the contractor who used to mow it has suddenly stopped doing so. The weeds are growing wild—it’s probably covered in poison ivy and poison oak—and it’s become a bit of an eyesore.
I figure this is where things will get real.
We’ll all start complaining about the state of the town or the person who quit doing their job, or we’ll debate whose property it is closest to and thus who should be responsible for mowing it. But mostly, I figure, after a lovely afternoon of conversation and community, we’re going to end it by complaining about the problems in the world. Instead, this gentleman stands among us and suggests, “I’m thinking we can all work together to take care of it.”
Now I’m pinching myself a lot.
Because it reminds me of the most common question I get asked in interviews: “What is the difference between the good life and the redemptive life?”