#16: Axis of goodness.

***This is the sixteenth of a series of posts based on a book I’m reading for a class called Connections in Religious and Ecological Education entitled Holy Ground: A Gathering of Voices on Caring for Creation. The chapter is “The Road Back to Paradise,” by Muslim scholar and faith-leader Ingrid Mattson.

A tenet of the Muslim faith, according to Dr. Mattson, is “We cannot neglect something essential for something that is merely desireable.”  This quote keeps running through my head, and it caused me to think today about the places in my own life, especially those places where my primary title is “consumer,” that I regularly choose desireability over essence.  This month, as a response to my rejection of giving something up for Lent and a new practice of making monthly personal goal charts to guide me through the year and still my worried, harried, jumping monkey-mind, I chose not to eat red meat.  I hoped that this choice would help me think more intentionally about the things I do eat, to draw my mind and my heart inward and outward so that instead of blindly mowing through my meals I would consider their sources, their travels, their treatment.  Just saying “not this time” to beef and pork has allowed me to say “I wonder how…” to chicken and lettuce, strawberries and tomatoes, to seasons and rhythms of growing and eating.  In my mind, it’s essential to consider where my food comes from and why it is that I feel entitled to eat certain things at certain times of the year.  But it’s just a small beginning. I’m thinking about where else I choose (sometimes intentionally and willfully, sometimes ignorantly) to listen to the voice in my head saying, “I want…” when the voice in my heart says, “Yes, but…”



  1. Chrissy Joy Said:

    I’ve been thinking about consumption a lot lately. Especially on those days when I do little to contribute to the world and instead consume energy, food, money, etc. We should talk about this next time we meet, I’m looking to make some pretty intentional changes to my life.

  2. Jules Said:

    yes, let’s talk. i am thinking the same things and your input/feedback/reflections on what you’re doing would be really good to hear.

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