Searching For Relevance


March 2, 2018

I have always liked shopping at Dick’s, it’s just that now I appreciate them more.  Why?  Well, let me take a step or so back!

It was two weeks ago that in my blog entitled “Enough,” following the shootings in Parkland, I asked the question, “What would you give up to save the life of even one of the seventeen students and teachers killed by the gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.  

Well, Edward Stack, the CEO of Dick’s sporting goods, provided me with his answer as that corporation decided to cease selling assault style rifles, large magazine clips, and guns to anyone under the age of 21.  At what cost?  Profits!  Profits related to future sales of these items along with the possibility of those opposing this action, boycotting their stores.  Would it be worth the risk?  “If,” Stack responded, “this decision saves even one life, it will be worth it!

Now, the financial analyzation of this decision has already begun with some saying, “Dick’s really won’t lose that much.” But, that’s beside the point!  They acted, even though not required to do so!  Which leaves me wondering, if those who don’t have to act, do . . . why don’t those who really could act?

In my sermon of February 18, I alluded to Daniel Boorstin’s book, “The Event” where he identified changes in our society that included a shift from living to achieve high “ideals” to being satisfied with what culture defined as acceptable “values.”  Already in 1962, he saw “values” becoming simply what was tolerable and common for society, whereas “ideals” represented the desire to be more.  When the prophets described Jerusalem as a “city on a hill,” it was such an ideal. High!  Maybe, beyond us!  But, priceless!  An image and goal so inspiring that when our founding fathers described their dream for our country, they identified with the same ideal.

Ideals define us.  In so many ways, they are what hold us together.  Always a bit beyond us, they serve as a compass for our living.  It doesn’t matter that they may never be fully achieved, because, without them, we are always less than we could be — our world is less that it could be!   Will Jerusalem ever reach the dream of the prophet Isaiah when he described it as a city with doors swung wide open and the welcome light continually light on?  I suspect not!  Just as limiting access to guns designed for war, will not end the violence we witness too often these days. But it does make a statement regarding our ideals, and who we strive to be as a people.   And that matters!!

So, I say, “Thanks!” to all those associated with Dick’s Sporting Goods.  Thanks, not so much for their decision, but the accompanying reminder of a vision — a vision akin to that of the prophet Isaiah where he labored for a world in which, “chariots were turned into ploughshares and swords into pruning hooks, and people would wage war, no more.”

It may never happen.  It may be an impossible ideal.   But wouldn’t it be wonderful if it did?  So, why not try?

Sincerely Seeking,

Rev. Dr. Keith A,. Haemmelmann  

P.S.  Please follow this link — THERE JUST ARE NO WORDS!!!!   https://usat.ly/2oEnGfK