I heard an interesting radio interview on “Q” this week with an actor who is well-known in his native Canada (Eric Peterson). When the interviewer asked him how it had been to try to make a career for himself as a young Canadian actor when there wasn’t much going on in Canadian theater or film at the time, he responded that he didn’t ever really think of it as being about making a career for himself. He was excited to be part of something larger – as a cultural worker, doing various jobs – helping create a uniquely Canadian national culture.
He compared it to the way a farmer or a cook takes the natural resources at hand and turns them into something of value for the community. An artist takes the stories, the turns-of-phrase, the idiosyncrasies at hand, and turns them into music, or art, dance or theatre or film, also for the good of the community.
It got me to thinking, what would it mean for us to envision taking what is at hand for us, in our daily lives, and using it to create a culture of progressive Christianity for our time and place? How broadening that would be – to up-shift from the narrow focus on ‘making it’ in our own personal careers, to a more expansive focus on helping create a more vibrant, just, faithful and compassionate society.
As the folk singer, Charlie King, put it: “Our life is more than our work, and our work is more than our job.”