Many of us have well-developed protest muscles, but a fewer number of us are as fit in the area of the positive picture for our future.
My denomination, the United Church of Christ -- often a church of firsts, or so we brag -- is in the process of writing a national resolution, to be adopted at the June 2015 Synod, against fracking. We just turned around and have decided to not just be against fracking but against fossil fuels, as well.
Deep within this ongoing strategy lies a conundrum. Banning fossil fuels, stopping fracking, divesting (which we passed the previous year) are each protest actions. We know we need an affirmation while we are drowning in our protest habits.
We also need an argument of why we are against wasting money on old energy sources, and why we favor spending every penny we have on new ones.
Is it because of our gratitude for creation? Is it because we have come to understand dominion without domination as crucial to God’s creation? Is it because we love animals and each other so much that we don’t want to oppress one another? Is it because we feel commanded and remanded to be good stewards?
Or is it something about the next generation and honoring the past one? Or are we just plain afraid to lose what we’ve got? Loss is not easy. Avoiding loss may even have its own moral power.
We are pro-renewable and pro-sustainable. We are also pro-energy -- we like energy; we know we need energy. We just want to get the energy we need in a way that doesn’t de-capacitate the planet.
We are also anti-fracking and anti-fossil fuels. Within these motions -- of what we are for and what we are against -- lies the very transition we want to make. We have to defund some things in order to refund others. The planet is like a radio that needs to change the station.
Money is also energy. It is a precious kind of energy, even if it often gets too much credit for what it does. Every penny that goes to the dead past is stolen from the living future. Whenever you are for something, you are also against something. Whenever you are against something, you are also for something.
Saving the energy for our imagination to flourish and to see its hope -- and visualize its hope and caress its hope -- seems to be important in a dark and difficult time. And we don’t yet know how to do that, so deeply do we live in depleted energy, time famine and energy fear.
Consider an idea: We love the way seeds cling to our pants on a fall hike and the way they imply a future that is beautiful for themselves, as they evolve. We want to be as hearty as those seeds. We want to seed a future that is different from our present because we know our present cannot be not long for this world.
We want to carry a seed to a new soil and plant it there, or at least make it possible that the forest weeds hitch a ride to the future. When the seed shows up on our pants, we often breathe a little sigh of relief and an even bigger breath of hope. Such a survivor.
We are for survival, especially if we can be enchanted along the way.