For the most part, the wheel of history grinds on as it always has. Empires rise and fall and power balances shift, but always there are the wealthy and privileged few living off of the broken bodies of the poor and hungry multitudes. Always there is apathy and injustice and everywhere we look we encounter the triumph of death. It surrounds us and fills the air we breath like a plague we have lived with for so long that we have forgotten what we are losing and what we have lost. So we live our lives — we work, we eat, we drink, we fuck — vaguely sensing that something is missing, longing for we don’t know what, and making the best of the only option we feel that we have.
But perhaps there is another option. Although we will never stop the wheel of history from grinding on, perhaps we can change its course. In the end, it comes down to the question of what price we are willing to pay in our pursuit of a history marked not by apathy and injustice, but by love and justice; permeated not by death, but by life. This, I believe is what Albert Schweitzer saw in Jesus:
[Jesus] lays hold of the wheel of the world to set it moving on that last revolution which is to bring all ordinary history to a close. It refuses to turn, and he throws himself upon it. Then it does turn; and crushes him… The wheel rolls onward and the mangled body of [Jesus] is hanging upon it still. That is his victory.
Perhaps this is what is required of those who claim to follow this person. Perhaps this is the pearl of great price (cf. Mt 13.45f).