Nothing can be farther from the truth than the facile belief that God only manifests himself in progress, in the improvement of standards of living, in the spread of medicine and the reform of abuses, in the diffusion of organized Christianity. The reaction from this type of theistic dilution, which a few years ago had almost completely supplanted the faith of Moses and Elijah and Jesus among modern Christians, both Protestant and Catholic, is now sweeping multitudes from their religious moorings. Real spiritual progress can only be achieved through catastrophe and suffering, reaching new levels after the profound catharsis which accompanies major upheavals. Every such period of mental and physical agony, while the old is being swept away and the new is still unborn, yields different social patterns and deeper spiritual insights. (W.F. Albright)
It has become glaringly obvious in my own experience that I cannot seem to attach myself to any one social cause or endeavor. As a pastor who wants to live with eyes wide open, I see things that prod my compassion into fight mode. Yet even though I often take steps onto various battlefields, I find myself once again poling my boat out into the great river of suffering looking for that one beachhead upon which I am supposed to sacrifice myself.