A thought or two…

Each time a man stands up for an ideal,
or acts to improve the lot of others,
or strikes out against injustice,
he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope,
and crossing each other from a million
different centers of energy and daring,
those ripples build a current which can sweep down
the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
– rfk

I like this quote…as long as there’s serious thinking done about the ideal, what it means to “improve the lot of others,” what is truly “injustice,” “oppression,” and “resistance.”

I’m knee-deep in Alasdair MacIntyre right now, who through offering a disquieting suggestion of the state of morality (the fact that you’re probably thinking about the Religious Right or some Bible-beating fundamentalist has something to say about the fall of the pursuit of morality), as well as suggesting a compelling alternative, is driving me to realize I have much to unlearn and relearn.

Probably most centrally the product of my society that the center of meaning in my life is ME…GLORIOUS ME. This is beyond untrue. I don’t want to hear it, but the world doesn’t revolve around the perpetuation of my life, my opinions, my desires, and my accomplishments. I must become smaller. My ego must shrink. My pride must die.

Richard Foster’s doing the best he can to knock me down a notch too. I’ve walked around telling people Celebration of Discipline “ruined me in the best way possible” far too much now for me not to seek a systematic commitment to applying these disciplines to my life. As Foster says, “With discipline comes freedom.”

I think (emphasis on “I think” because I often believe I have grasped something, only to fall down flat on my face time and time again with the same issue that I “thought’ I had “grasped” or “beaten” or “moved beyond”) I’m finally starting to get my grimy fingers around the truth that my life has been lived at a very surface level and will remain there if I’m not willing to make the sacrifices to go deeper. This has many implications for my life. I’m a big fan of what God is doing in my life, and this growing hunger to go deeper in that life-defining area. I’m a big fan of some sections of my life opening up into greater clarity: my relationship with Bethany, a growing calling and responsibility in my local church family, my role in the world, a bigger and more expansive definition of love (the range from tough discipline to scandalous mercy), things like that.

We’ll see how things pan out. I’m workin’ hard at this life, and figuring out the role I’m to play in this unfolding drama of humanity that’s been taking place for a long time; the world existed before me and will exist after. I CAN affect the world for good; not mainly through my own effort, but through participation and citizenship in God’s kingdom. I ALSO CAN affect the world in a negative manner; I did it in college on a consistent basis…it’s hopefully less consistent now.

Just a couple thoughts.

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