Meditation for January 15

I will relax and not get tense. I will have no fear, because everything will work out in the end. I will learn soul-balance and poise in a vacillating, changing world. I will claim God’s power and use it because if I do not use it, it will be withdrawn. As long as I get back to God and replenish my strength after each task, no work can be too much.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may relax and that God’s strength will be given to me. I pray that I may subject my will to God’s will and be free from all tenseness.

From the original AA Meditation book, Twenty-Four Hours a Day, by Richmond Walker

Being Christian

“It is almost universally assumed today that becoming a Christian means in essence the adoption of a new set of beliefs or the initiation of a new mode of behaviour. A Christian would be defined as one who ‘believes in Christ’ or ‘worships Christ’ or ‘tries to follow Christ’s teaching.’ Now it is far from my purpose to belittle either Christian dogma or Christian ethics. Nevertheless, it must be pointed out that to define the essence of Christianity in terms of belief or of practice involves the neglect of two principles that are fundamental to all sound theology. The former of these is that the act of God precedes and is presupposed by the acts of man: ‘Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us’; ‘Ye have come to know God, or rather to be known of God.’ The second is that what a being is precedes what it does; our actions are a consequence of what we are operari sequitur esse. It will follow from this that the Christian should be defined not in terms of what he himself does, but of what God has made him to be. Being a Christian is an ontological fact, resulting from an act of God.” — E. L. Mascall Christ, the Christian, and the Church p.77

He is Inescapable

“Because God is not a finite object over against you as a subject, you cannot simply turn away towards ‘something else.’; He is the ground and end of all desire and knowledge as such, the Good in itself. You cannot choose or not choose God the way you would choose or not choose a cup of coffee. You desire anything because of your original desire for God as the transcendental Good and Beautiful; you know anything because of your original intellectual appetite for God as the transcendental Truth as such. Even in desiring to flee God, you are desiring God as the ‘good end’ you seek in godlessness. He is inescapable because all being, goodness, unity, truth, and beauty simply are God in their transcendent truth, and because a rational nature is nothing but an infinite dynamic orientation towards that transcendent end. The natural will, as Maximus says, can will only God. Don’t think of God as a candidate in a political race, whom you could simply reject and be done with; he is the original and final act of your every discrete act of desire. And, in the ages, since God is all and there is literally nothing beyond him, the natural will is always seeking its natural supernatural end. Simply said, God is not an object of desire; he is the end that makes desire.” — David Bentley Hart

Hiding from the mission

We do this in two ways:

The first is refusing to be clear and precise about what the mission is. Avoiding specifics about what we hope to accomplish and for whom. Being vague about success and (thus about failure).

After all, if no one knows exactly what the mission is, it’s hard feel like a failure if it doesn’t succeed.

The second is even more insidious. We degrade the urgency of the mission. We become diffuse. We get distracted. Anything to avoid planting a stake and saying, “I made this.”

It’s possible to spend 7 hours and 52 minutes out of an eight-hour day in doing nothing but hiding from the mission. And it’s exhausting.

Seth Godin

Expect the Opposite

“If yours truly has learned anything living in Washington, D.C. since 1976, it’s that when you need to know where the country is headed in the near future, check the conventional wisdom among America’s political, academic and media elites, then expect the opposite to occur.” — Mark Tapscott

Gender

“I want everyone to stop using the word “gender” for anything other than masculine and feminine nouns. I am male. I am of the male sex. I am not of the male gender. You do not have choice in participating in your sexual identity, contrary to all fashionable nonsense of the era. “Gender” is akin to the Marxist use of the word “exploitation”. It is ideologically loaded; it is nonsense on stilts. Biology is not a social construct.” — Written by one of those bloggers who, for whatever reason, won’t use a “real” name. Found here.

Oh, and by the way, I agree totally and unreservedly. I’m certainly open to the thought that we need to be willing for men and women to dress, walk and talk in ways other than how John Wayne or Rita Hayworth dressed, walked and talked, but let’s be serious. Once a man, always a man. And vice versa.

Clay

“We may consider the material world as the clay which the artist works with, to make of it something beautiful or ugly. We need not fear material things, which are neither good nor bad in the moral sense. There seems to be no active force for evil—outside of human beings themselves. Humans alone can have either evil intentions—resentments, malevolence, hate and revenge—or good intentions—love and good will, They can make something ugly or something beautiful out of the clay of their lives.” — Twenty-Four Hours a Day entry for December 19

Extraordinary Decency

“If you can think of times in your life that you’ve treated people with extraordinary decency and love, and pure uninterested concern, just because they were valuable as human beings. The ability to do that with ourselves. To treat ourselves the way we would treat a really good, precious friend. Or a tiny child of ours that we absolutely loved more than life itself. And I think it’s probably possible to achieve that. I think part of the job we’re here for is to learn how to do it. I know that sounds a little pious.” — David Foster Wallace