by Rev. Robert H. Tucker
August 11, 1997
"A great opportunity is before us. Difficulties
abound, but we can do it!"
And the people said: "NO!"
That's not the way its supposed to happen in America: we expect
an exciting future possibility to always win over the unsatisfying
That incident, though, took placed 3,000 years ago. In the
wilderness, following the exodus from Egypt, the possibility of
entering Palestine from the south was considered. A committee
was formed. They surveyed the land, and reported back that it
was a "land flowing with milk and honey." That initial
anticipatory delight of the people turned into night-long weeping
as the committee's report continued: the cities were fortified,
and the people were of great size ("We seemed like grasshoppers
in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them."). Joshua
and Caleb, two of the committee of twelve, said, "God's with
us. Let's go for it." However, the majority's caution and
fear took hold, and the opportunity was lost (for 40 years).
We are very dependent on minorities for human advancement.
For example, a minority of the population supported the American
Revolution, and only a minority of that minority gave it strong
support. The winter soldiers at Valley Forge dwindled to a bare
2,000 men, and Americans were unwilling to pay taxes to support
the cause. A dogged minority gave us our freedom.
Of course minority reports don't deserve a blanket endorsement.
To heedlessly stumble into the future has little appeal. Yet,
so resistant are we to change that the call of a minority should
be taken with utmost seriousness. Too often, refusal to grasp
the future leaves groups wandering in a wilderness, finding only
later what could have been a joyful reality in the present..
My experience with other organizations leads me to truly value
First Congregational. Members listen even to single voices calling
for new ways of serving, and they respond, exemplifying George
Bernard Shaw's line in Back to Methuselah, "You see
things; and you say, "Why?" But I dream things that
never were; and I say, "Why not?"
Well, "Why not?"
--Robert H. Tucker
11 August 1997
- © Robert H. Tucker, 1997.
- Go to Mind
Matters Table of Contents Page.
- Go to Bob
and Maggi Tucker's Homepage.