Friday, May 11, 2007

Perceptions: Don't Judge A Temple By Its Vessel

I love the way Charles Dickens lauds the virture of the misfortunate while illuminating the self-blindness of the fortunate.

It was natural enough that her short and unfinished dialogue with Kit should leave a strong impression on her mind, and influence her dreams that night and her recollections for a long, long time. Surrounded by unfeeling creditors, and mercenary attendants upon the sick, and meeting in the height of her anxiety and sorrow with little regard or sympathy even from the women about her, it is not surprising that the affectionate heart of the child should have been touched to the quick by one kind and generous spirit, however uncouth the temple in which it dwelt. Thank Heaven that the temples of such spirits are not made with hands, and that they may be more worthily hung with poor patchwork than with purple and fine linen! -- The Old Curiosity Shop, chapt. 11.

It must be specially observed in justice to poor Kit that he was by no means of a sentimental turn, and perhaps had never heard that adjective in all his life. He was only a soft-hearted grateful fellow, and had nothing genteel or polite about him; consequently instead of going home again in his grief to kick the children and abuse his mother (for when your finely strung people are out of sorts they must have everybody else unhappy likewise), he turned his thoughts to the vulgar expedient of making them more comfortable if he could. -- The Old Curiosity Shop, chapt. 14.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

My Concern: A Commentary

I wrote the below commentary expecting to make a brief presentation of ~ 3 min. I did not have to make the presentation, but did deliver a one minute abridged version. Since I wrote it, I thought I would post it.

I am concerned that our culture has become much too selfish, too me oriented. Observe the attitudes in the way we drive: "my time is more impotant than yours; courtesy and rules do not apply to me--I am in a hurry; get out of my way." Look at what we drive, vehicles that far exceed the necessity of mere transportation in both price and luxury.

Look at what we buy, large screen, hi-def TV's and elaborate sound systems to watch big budget productions and over-paid athletes in order to escape footage of war, Darfur, and our inner cities.

Look at where we live, houses whose size and design are exuberant examples of form over function; whose furnishings are so opulent they cost more than our parents' houses did.

We have become an "I deserve", materialistic society to such an extent that we flirt with amorality.

We are more intent on fighting injustice done unto us than we are in fighting the injustices we do unto others.

Yet, are we growing more content? Are we happier, more peaceful at heart or restful in soul? Do we sleep better at night? Based on the sales of sleep aids . . . well, you decide. Have we found our sense of purpose or does it seem ever more elusive driving us deeper into our consumerism?

I think it is time we seriously contemplate the advice of the great American psychologist, Karl Meninger, who gave this answer when asked what one piece of advice he would give to someone about to go insane. “Lock up your house, go across the railroad tracks, and find someone in need and do something for him.”

Money-giving is a very good criterion of a person's mental health. Generous people are rarely mentally ill people. -- Karl Menninger

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Conclusion

From a recent service involvement, some discussions with a brother, and mostly through internal mental arguements, I have reached a conclusion of thought.

I must show the love of Christ to everyone, every minute, everyday. Then I must trust in God to handle the rest.

I am not sure which is going to be harder, perpetually living Christ or completely trusting God. Such hard tasks to execute from such a simple conclusion. Well, Christ did promise that discipleship would be hard and that it might even kill me. Oh well...