Friday, May 20, 2011

Kierkegaard parable

It has been more challenging in recent weeks to find time to blog. Since Easter I have traveled out of state twice, officiated at two (with tomorrow – three) funerals, and been busy with all kinds of May activities.
Bradlee Dean’s prayer before the Minnesota legislature today could give me something to write about, but I want more time to consider how one might best respond. I appreciated the Republican Speaker of the House’s response. Mother Jones on-line has a piece about the connection between Dean and Representative Michele Bachmann, but I don’t have time to develop all this right now.
I hope, in the near future to develop some thoughts about the hatred of taxes “theology” that is prominent right now in many places (phrase from Michael Tomasky in The New York Review of Books), in light of a book recently completed and one in which I am significantly immersed – Cowen, The Great Stagnation (available only as an e-book) and Hacker, The Great Risk Shift. Again, I need more time for this.
Next week, Bob Dylan turns 70. There has to be something there.
This past week, Harmon Killebrew died.
A lot of tiny threads, but little whole cloth.

So here for your reflection is a parable written by Soren Kierkegaard (from Concluding Unscientific Postscript and found in Parables of Kierkegaard)

When in a written examination the youth are allotted four hours to develop a theme, then it is neither here nor there if an individual student happens to finish before the time is up, or uses the entire time. Here, therefore, the task is one thing, the time another. But when the time itself is the task, it becomes a fault to finish before the time has transpired. Suppose a man were assigned the task of entertaining himself for an entire day, and he finishes this task of self-entertainment as early as noon: then his celerity would not be meritorious. So also when life constitutes the task. To be finished with life before life has finished with one, is precisely not to have finished the task.

With Faith and With Feathers,


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