Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Search for God and Guinness

A wee review of the book: The Search for God & Guinness by Stephen Mansfield (c) 2009

After reading and reviewing Mansfield's The Mormonizing of America, I learned about his earlier work on a book called The Search for God and Guinness.  I was intrigued.  I love Guinness both its legendary stout and the recent newcomer, the black lager.  I wondered about the faith of the brewers.

His prologue grabbed my attention, because as a preacher I am always interested in what people hear, and since he first heard a sermon on Arthur Guinness that was more myth than truth! (And he is right about the problem of stories on the internet that are not always true...)  The true story of how Arthur Guinness brewed his stout in St. James Gate and how "Arthur Guinness began to think differently about how to use his wealth. He started the first Sunday schools in Ireland and founded hospitals for the poor; he positioned his company to transform lives."  And it transformed his family too.

I love how he began by looking at the history of beer.  It is fascinating to understand how long beer has been with us. The history of Arthur Guinness and his family is what the book is about and he does a masterful telling of their story, and especially of their faith and how it impacted the beer they made, the people who drank it and the workers who made it!

I recommend his book!  It was an enjoyable read and I wish the captains of industry today would read his book and follow the lead of Arthur Guinness in how they treat their workers and how to affect society today. (I hope the next project for Stephen Mansfield will be on Milton Hershey!)

As he wonderfully said in an interview (which goes along with his epilogue):
Find out what God is doing in your generation and get involved. Look around at society, look where the poor are, look where injustice is happening, look where you can make a difference and get involved. That is No. 1.

The other [lesson] is that you cannot make money from people unless you’re willing for people to make money from you. The idea is you invest in your clients, you invest in your employees and you transform corporate culture.

Also think in terms of generations yet unborn. Think in terms of the future. Don’t measure corporate success by the bottom line in the next quarter. Measure success by what you’re providing for generations from now.

One of the most important issues is that the sacred and the profane are not delineated as clearly as some people think they are. The Scriptures say, “In him we live and move and have our being,” meaning that all of your Christian life ought to be an integration of your spiritual beliefs, your values, your character as an offering to God.

That would transform things. People need to believe that what they’re doing as a policeman or a teacher is very much an offering to God that’s pleasing to him. (from
Mansfield also got me thinking about John Wesley and Oscar Romero.

Two quotes from Wesley that go with his book:
Having, First, gained all you can,
and, Secondly saved all you can,
Then give all you can.

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as you ever can. 

(attributed to Wesley)

And this quote from Oscar Romero that came to my mind as I read his book, reminded that no matter what we do, brew beers, drive taxis, preach in Church that we all have arole to play in God's creation:
How beautiful will be the day when all the baptized understand that their work, their job, is a priestly work--that just as I celebrate Mass at this altar, so each carpenter celebrates Mass at his work-bench, and that each metal-worker, each professional, each doctor with the scalpel, the market woman at her stand is performing a priestly office! How many cabdrivers I know are listening to this message there in their cabs... You are a priest at the wheel, my friend, if you work with honesty, consecrating that taxi of yours to God - bearing a message of peace and love to the passengers who ride in your cab.

No comments: