This photo was taken at everybody’s favorite roundabout: the one with the hotel in the middle of it, perched over the Mass Pike. It’s technically not in Watertown, but if you live in Watertown, you can’t avoid it. The guy in the Subaru has just zipped up the left-hand lane (the one you’re supposed to be in if you’re getting on the Pike to go west) and now is elbowing his way into the long lane of people crawling north into Watertown. Don’t worry, I had plenty of time to take this photo: my car wasn’t going anywhere for a while.
Annoying as it is, I find myself much more concerned about other kinds of rules being broken or dismissed these days. Rules like international law, speaking the truth when asked questions in court or by special counsels, and the fundamental command that undergirds all human community and is at the heart of the faith I profess: love your neighbor. More and more, we seem to have become unmoored from any rules or ordering of common life.
How do we move on down the road with hope and courage in times like these? On Sunday, I encouraged my congregation to engage in watching – an active posture of hope that involves prayer, awareness of what is happening in the lives of others, and the baking and sharing of bread. Here I would add to this list talking with children. Share with them your values and your faith (whatever it is). Light a candle with them at the dinner table every night. Create a weekly ritual that involves giving to others. Children growing up right now need this, even more than we did when young.
And follow the rules of the road, especially on that crazy roundabout. Thanks.