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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

God – Down the Corridors of Time

Where do you see God at work in your history? In your own life?....(Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1016).

When I look to find God at work in my life or anywhere else in human history, I look principally for 1) grace and guidance in perception and 2) the disciplines of love as they bear upon action. In terms of perception, it is a downright miracle how unconscious blindness suddenly can be replaced by insight. In terms of action, I am much less concerned with a bundle of sure-fire answers as with the fruit of the Spirit as they bear upon action over time. [The fruit of the Spirit “is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV).] The disciplines of love deriving from this fruit include:

  • Humility before the facts (respect for “what is so regardless of what we may say about it”)
  • Acceptance especially of the ownership of problems (as it relates to others this is exemplified by the Good Samaritan)
  • Freedom from idol worship (including the worship of high-flying ideologies) and freedom from loss of discernment and self-control
  • Seeing possibilities even in abject difficulties
  • Use of the right and proper tools so as to minimize or avoid harm
  • A long-term perspective (a belief in eternal verities even though stated primarily in abstract terms, and with this perspective a measure of patience)
  • Acceptance of limits in order to achieve workable arrangements (needed to cope with the volatility of human nature)
  • Goodwill (the willingness to believe others are guided by their best lights and thus must be given due respect)—as Jesus said: “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell” (Matthew 5:22 NIV)]
  • A good measure of empathy even for one's enemies
  • The courage and faith to endure controversy (seeing it as inevitable due to the multiplicity of viewpoints and interests)
  • Resilience [“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” (1 Corinthians 13:7 NIV)].

The disciplines of love constitute the most effective arsenal of values to employ when confronted with life's mysteries and uncertainties. These values I hold derive directly from the Word and Love of God.

So on contemplation I can see that God is at work in my life and history, but not in mine only but within the family of man and nations during the most productive, creative, and effective periods.

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