Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Flight Risk

And I say, Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest;
yes, I would wander far away;
I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter
from the raging wind and tempest.
 Psalm 55:6-8

It used to be the fashion and possibly it is still to think this psalm was written by David as he fled from his son, Absalom.  Some of the elements could suggest that, but it is often the case that, as Jesus said, our enemies are those of our own household.  My worst enemy cannot be escaped by flight for I drag him with me wherever I go.  Aside from that, all of us have probably had a faithless friend or a family member who has betrayed or turned against us in some way.  The loss of trust, and what often appears from our point of view as a sudden, inexplicable change in attitude, may leave us devastated. 

Of course, the cause of our seeking an escape doesn’t have to be dramatic.  Sometimes the daily drudge, the minor but cumulative trials of living in the 21st Century have us gazing with longing at our wallpaper of a remote tropical paradise or a secluded mountain cabin or, in my case, something with two wheels rather than two wings.  Just to think of getting away from the usual suspects of pressures, demands and responsibilities can give us a respite. 

As my trigonometry teacher used to say, “The whole world’s insane.  I’m the only sane one left.”  It’s not hard to think as we look around that somehow we have put the deranged in control of the ship.  Yeats wrote nearly a hundred years ago “Things fall apart … The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.  The plague has only spread in the decades intervening.  There is no remedy within the world.  We must rise out of it and get above it, until the flood subsides. 

And it will subside. 

It may be a hundred more years or five hundred more or a hundred thousand. I do not know.  I only know the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus in the form of a dove, and that He gives wings to our soul as He dwells in us.   He is the Comforter, and nothing, save our own foolish obstinacy, can separate us from Him.  He keeps us in the innocence of the dove even as He gives us subtle wisdom to make us more than a match for the serpent’s guile. 


USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"The best lack all conviction..,"

Aye. And without conviction there can't be any repentence.

I'm really glad I read Ben Franklin's bio, be ause he has me thinkin, contemplating, meditating, and praying about developing the virtues within myself and growing into good character.

At the beginning of each day, Franklin asked himself "what good can I do today?"

And at the end of the day he asked himself, "what good fid I do today?"

The virtues need to be exercised like our muscles and mind, so that they can grow stronger and become good habits that come naturally, or rather supernaturally with the guidance of Divine Providence.

It's so simple but .i never thought about exercising the virtues in an organized way like Franklin did.
I dare say it's more efficient than wingin' it and it keeps me focused on doin' good more often.

When we put on the mind of Christ we become more Christ-like, which is what Christian means.
Furthermore, we become more sensitive to conviction which helps us to repent, because we see more clearly the damage our sins cause.

Even if our sins only hurt ourselves. But really, it's not just ourselves...our sins also hurt Jesus.
The more we become aware of our sins the more intense the conviction becomes and the more powerful our repentence!

I pray I continue to aspire to develope the virtues within myself and fo good whenever I can.
I feel much better doin' good than when I sin and there's no conflict when I do good, and no guilt or shame.
Plus, when I do good I ain't hurtin' nobody else and instead of hurtin' Christ I please Him.

I pray fervently for conviction because conviction helps me see more clearly so I can change my course to the right direction and avoid sinkin' my ship of fool. :)

Outstanding post, Mush!

julie said...

Thanks, to both of you :)

mushroom said...

Outstanding comment, Ben.

Being led by the Spirit also means getting in position where we can be led. If the Holy Ghost has to haul me out of a ditch every fifty feet, we're not going to make much progress. We need that organized approach like Franklin is talking about.