Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Value of Doubt and Action

This summer has taught me few lessons and none more than this: there is an extereme value in doubt and action. The lesson has been in my heart and in the reading that I have done this summer. Don't worry I will try to clarify this as much as I can.

Doubt is a healthy thing when it does not lead to despair, but leads instead to seeking. When a person has honest doubts about beliefs and looks to the evidence for answers will look finding answers. Take belief in God, or for that matter disbelief in the idea of god, as a prime example. Many people do not believe in God because they do not know Him or have not met Him through the only path possible to learn about Him. The only one who knows the Father is the Son and any one who the Son choses to reveal Him to (cf. Mt. 11:27). How than are we to come to know Jesus? There is only one place where we can find about who Christ is, that is in the New Testament of the Bible. Jesus said "I and the Father are one" (Jn. 10:30). Than is it not true that the only way that we can know the Father is through the Son who came into the world. So in the pages of the New Testament we find Christ and through Him we meet the Father. It is through doubt that we will seek and we are told all who seek will find (see Mt. 7:7). Out of doubt we will be led to seeking the truth. These are what lead us to truth. Much of this summer I have felt like Aragon at the breaking of the Fellowship, being a poor chooser and all of the choices have gone wrong. This is where the need of action comes into this. This is taught in the Lord of the Rings best I think. Even when there is doubt and uncertianity in their actions. As Aragon knew, so we must learn, that when we make a choice we must follow it to the end and in faith. All of the fellowship is pulled into different directions and they do not know what will come of their journey, but they are being guided by a power greater than all of the powers in the world to the end that is for the greatest good, the distruction of the one ring. All of the fellowship are helping to do this task, so must we realize that all who act in faith of Christ bring salvation to the world. Yes, we are the messengers who carry hope into the world. Just as Frodo carried the fools hope for all and others help him with the task, so to do we carry in each action a participation of the salvation of the world that Christ alone achieved on Calavery. I could keep going about this, but I do not think that it would get any clearer. If you really want it to be totally clear read The Lord of the Rings trilogy paying close attention to the details, but also read George MacDonald's The Curate of Glaston trilogy. An irony in finding these older authors I have found lessons deeper than anything I ever thought to find.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A light in the darkness

Warning: If you have not read through the section of The Return of the King about dark land, do not read this post, but save it for later. Yes, Emily this warning is for you, even though this is not a story ruiner.

In the heart of the of the darkness of Mordor we find this passage:
"Far above the Ephel Duath in the West the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for awhile. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master's, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo's side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep."

This is possibly one of the most moving parts of The Lord of the Rings. Even in the darkness of the heart of the evil land hope is found. The heart of Sam is peirced to the very center of his being with the fact that "the Shadow was only a small and passing thing." A small and passing thing? It is a shadow that comes from the devil, the one that that succeded in killing God for three days. But as Sam realized that there is a beauty that is beyond the darkness of the Shadow. There is something beyond it all. A beauty that no shadow can cover or touch to sully it. A beuaty that is pure as light. In realizing that beauty is beyond the Shadow, Sam was able to forget about his plight and rest without trouble. Corrie ten Bloom says something even more stricking because she was speaking of Hitler's Mordor. She says,"This darkness is very deep, but our God has gone far deeper. When you have been to Calvary, even Ravensbrook looks trivial.” When we know Christ in the dark places than all the darkness becomes trivial. That is all for the short comments I have for now.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The unknown and jumping without a net. Also the front lines...

It is summer and the heat has come, but along with that comes the summer tradition in my life of having to leap into the unknown. The past few years I really have not had to do this, because I knew I would be in school next year. I guess it is back to where I was before comming to Ave and having to leap without knowing where I will land. I can never see where I will land when I am at a major turning point of my life. The unknown, honestly scares the life out of me, but has to be left to One who knows all possiblities. I have a hard head and learning to trust is very difficult for me. I have trouble trusting my own instincts, even though they have very rarely been shown to be wrong. They tell me that God is in control and will look out for me as He always has. They also tell me that He loves me, wanting me to know, love and serve Him. He is my King and I will always serve Him. Fully serving Christ, now that scares me. To do that would be sainthood and there is no telling what He wants.

I came to Ave as a way of learning and not being on the frontlines of the Church for a time. I've had my time of sybatical from the fight and even that has not been without its conflicts, but none as serious or important as the ones I have been in pior to Ave. But I think the time has come for me to get back into the fight and serve Christ always. I must come to love my Master as Sam Gamgee loves Frodo. I have had a time without the strive that comes with being fully for Christ in the world. The time of total peace has gone, the battle for souls will go on. I always list my politics as 'other' because it does not matter about taxes, social security checks or whatever you think of in politics. What truly matters are souls. It is not for anything of this world that we should be fighting for but for souls. I do recognize that poltics can be used for this, but do any of us have the courage to do this? Do not forget, we are at war, and victory cannot be gained by strength of arms. I agree with Gandalf saying, "I still hope for victory, but not by arms."How than do still hope? We hope through Jesus Christ, who took the fight to the enemy but that was by bruising His own heel. He embraced His heel and became small. So to must we embrace our heel and become small. The only way we can win is through humility and simplisty in Christ. Christ is the only one who can achieve victory. We must walk up to the lines of the battle and do always service of Christ. Dropping to our knees and asking our King to lead us. We must become small, humbling ouresleves before Christ. But I think I have bantered on long enough, this is what comes out of me when we get stream of conciousness.