I am wearing socks today.  The northwest chill has set in upon us.  The sun’s effervescent warmth has betrayed me.  The majority of Me is pretty good with this change, all except one part, my feet.  Unlike the fall, spring’s thaw comes the joy of new footwear .  Gone is the restriction of shoes and socks!  In comes the revolution of foot freedom… flip flops!

Ahh yes, once summer hits, nary a sock needs to be cleaned in my wardrobe.  The clickity-clack of my flip-flop sound can be heard as the drum beat of my summer soul.

But now fall is here.  The socks on my feet bring a needed warmth, but also a stark reminder of what was lost. The cold must be combated. Yes, I could live in mental rebellion to the frozen feetsies.  I could be as some are, flip-flop warriors, wearing them in the middle of the arctic tundra just because they can.  Guess I am getting too old for that kind of demonstration wear.

And so I will change with the season.

Now this does not mean I round up my flip flops and burn them in a giant heap of protest, chanting and dancing around the toxic billowing smoke shouting, “The Day of Flip Flops are over, today is the day of the sock and shoe!!!”  I probably would have done that at some point in the past.

But today, I have learned that seasons change.  Times change. And so the spiritual act of storing the flip-flops away in my closet is no longer a resignation that summer has been lost, but that summer will come again.

I wonder if that is the role of the Prophet in the church today.  One who is able to see the changing in the season a little sooner than most and speaks out that the leaves are changing color and that the first frost is near.

BTW, today did warm up a little, maybe I could even sneak the flip-flops out for one more hurrah!

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I was reading Will Durant’s book The Life of Greece.  I came across an arresting quote that reflects to me some of the themes we are seeing in America today.  Some of the statements are eerie and could be taken out of any newspaper today.

“We have tried to show that the essential cause of the Roman conquest of Greece was the disintegration of Greek civilization from within.  No great nation is ever conquered until it has destroyed itself. Deforestation and the abuse of the soil, the depletion of precious metals, the migration of trade routes, the disturbance of economic life by political disorder, the corruption of democracy and degeneration of dynasties, the decay of morals and patriotism, the decline or deterioration of the population, the replacement of citizen armies by mercenary troops, the human and physical waste of fratricidal war, the guillotining of ability by murderous revolutions and counterrevolutions.”

Sounds eerily familiar?  I would like to numerate the above and provide the modern day equivalent for today in the civilization of America.

1. “Deforestation and abuse of the soil”

WHEN SOIL GOES “MONO”

Nowadays, however, many farmers do things differently. They practice monoculture, planting the same crop year after year. Doing so may help the farmer survive economically, but it takes a heavy toll on the soil. Soil degradation may result.

Without natural ways of replenishing soil nutrients, farmers grow increasingly dependent on chemical fertilizers. These fertilizers can increase crop yields, but they affect the soil food web. Over time, the microorganisms become depleted and soil loses its vitality and is no longer full of life.

Something else happens too. Lacking microbes to create tiny waterways and organic matter that binds soil together, the soil becomes less porous, and more water runs off the surface. So some farmers need to use more irrigation water for their crops.

Problem is, irrigated land is often prone to salinization. Unlike rainwater, irrigation water contains salts and leaves salt deposits behind when it evaporates. The amount of salt that is left on the soil may be modest at first, but it builds. Once the land becomes too salty, growing anything on it is almost impossible. Ancient civilizations such as Mesopotamia disappeared in large part because their farmland contained too much salt.

2.  “the depletion of precious metals”

Off shore drilling.  See Restoring Eden for an active campaign.

3. “the migration of trade routes”

Need we all recognize that China is stepping forward as one of the world’s main trading partners and globalization is taking America from being the center stage of trade.

4. “the disturbance of economic life by political disorder, the corruption of democracy and degeneration of dynasties”

Political Disorder: Partisan politics, right wing vs left wing, christian fundamentalism vs liberal media, disorder is everywhere.

Corruption: Larry Craig and bathroom shenanigans, Oval office trysts, Exxon, corporate backscratching and cover ups to keep the financial system the right side up with the rich getting richer.

Dynasties: The Bushes, The Clintons, The New York Yankees.  All names that bring a sour, been there done that look.

5. “the decay of morals and patriotism, the decline or deterioration of the population”

Did you know Americans have lost 2.84 trillion dollars in equity.  That is $2,840,000,000.00 in lost money.  This will likely result in more unscrupulous behavior, more shady business practices and more cut throat capitalism to gain back some of that lost equity.  More than we know morals and money are very closely linked.

6. “the replacement of citizen armies by mercenary troops”

Now this one is easy… can anyone say Blackwater.  Modern day mercenaries who are not responsible to any governing authority or discipline.  Interesting.

7. “the human and physical waste of fratricidal war”

Now I am not going to talk about the current wars, but rather focus on the other invisible wars that exist in our civilization.  Drug war, sex trade war, child abuse war.  These wars are real, are happening in our cities and are sucking the life out of us.

8. “the guillotining of ability by murderous revolutions and counterrevoltions”

Ability today is still hamstrung by race, religion, sex and politics.

SO THERE WE HAVE IT.

The American kingdom is not much different than that of ancient Greece.  And the simple question is…

Anyone ready for a new Kingdom?  And a new King?  I sure am…