how shall we live?

If we see someone marching with a sign that says, “We are all doomed,” we would respond, smiling grimly, “Yes, of course we are. The question is not whether we are doomed, but when we are doomed. How long do we have? And how should we live during the Great Tribulation?”

Perhaps an answer also can be found in The Seventh Seal: the scene in which the knight, Antonius Block, finally discovers the purpose of his crusade: He finds something worth saving. “I shall remember this hour of peace … the strawberries, the bowl of milk, your faces in the dusk, Michael asleep, Joseph with his lute. I shall remember our words … and shall bear this memory between my hands as carefully as a bowl of fresh milk. And this will be a sign and a great content.”

How often do such moments occur in the lives of professors?

The pleasant lunch with a trusted colleague, the class that goes so well that we forget the clock, the scholarly essay that writes itself, the daily walks through a lovely campus, and the perpetual renewal of our lives with each season and semester. No career is so miserable that it is not full of such signs that we are on the right path.

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