License/Permit

21 Apr

Wasn’t there a Bond movie, “License to Kill”? Most of us like being legal. Many activities require having a slip of paper to authorize us in performing something we would like, or something we think we need to do. We need permission from some higher authority figure in order to actually do it. Everyone playing by the rules makes society work. Getting married, driving a car, going hunting or fishing, selling alcohol, carrying a gun…even bodily functions require a septic permit when you live in the country. Some permissions are easy to obtain, mere formalities. Other times, the license process is painfully slow. I mean, it took me ten years to go from 15 and a half to 16 and one month. Occasionally, it’s complicated…even fraught with bureaucracy, intrigue and corruption. (Right, Wells County???)

However, permissions that confer legality may be easier than permissions that confer morality. In our heads we long for a license that bestows the moral right. Right-ness and not merely legal-ness. A permit to rightness makes life easy and we do want to do it – right. Do we ever covet moral right-ness so much that bureaucracy, intrigue and corruption are the price we are willing to pay inside our own head? Then we confer our own permits upon ourselves and our issues forgetting the requirement of higher authority. “It’s complicated!” can become the license designed to anesthetize our conscience long enough for the permission slip from self. Often, the bigger the wrong-ness that we have licensed, probably smaller than killing, the harder the head search for the permit. Thus the turmoil of rationalization leaves us looking for a mental septic permit. Oh, for a flush.

Some search for lists. If it is unlisted it’s a legal license. Or is it the other way around? Others cancel the relevance of all lists, whether do’s or don’ts, screaming legalism to help proclaim themselves king. Others bury the struggle in pills or booze.

All of this prelude just to share that this week, God shared hope with our hearts by granting us license…from the Ethiopian government… plates for the “ma-kee-na” purchased seven months ago. Now we are legal to drive an NGO vehicle here.

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