French speakers are so fond of the expression “comparaison n’est pas raison “It can loosely be translated in English by “comparison is not reason. “In the French speaking lexicon one does not use a comparative analogy to win an argument or for that matter justify a behavior or an action.
French speakers are quick to dismiss any claim, logical or rational argumentation that is based on comparison. It is not about comparing apples to oranges. In the French argumentation, one cannot even compare apples to apples. One cannot compare, for example, corns produced in the mountains of New Jersey as opposed to the one from the fields of Iowa. There are just different.
I don’t know why the French argumentation is so rigid about not comparing. Maybe it is for the sake of maintaining originality and independency, the idea of judging something by its own merit. But on Thursday, I found myself comparing ShopRite to HyVees. HyVees are the chain of grocery stores found in the Midwest.
At ShopRite in Pennington, I couldn’t easily find my way in the store. I didn’t understand why there were cakes and breads at the entrance and not fruits. And then, not far from the fruits stand there were frozen food. I was confused. All that I thought was “I like HyVee better”. It took me some time to figure out the configuration of the store. Then when I proceeded to the cashier, I was shocked that things were a little bit pricy. And here again, I said “I like Hyvee better”.
I think my dilemma was the new environment I found myself into. I wanted to compare things to feel better about myself and quite frankly I was nostalgic of Iowa. But it was a wrong approach. Don’t get me wrong, comparing could be good in a case of risk -assessment analysis but comparison is not always reason.
What goes for the grocery stores goes as well for our personal life, let alone the Church. We are in a new dispensation at Hopewell UMC. Things will be different. We might feel a sense of loss or even confusion, but we should go beyond comparison.
I suggest that we rather, objectively, and heartily with care and love, prayerfully embrace and be active participant of what lies ahead of us. In this sense, we will concur with what Jesus says “when two or three are gathered in my name, I am among them”. (Matthew 18:20).
In His Name,