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Monday, September 30, 2013

On the Verge

Once I heard it said that the experience of sex is one of the few things mankind has universally in common. That was a good one. But tonight I would like to offer another commonality—all mankind are on the verge—as in the “limit beyond which something happens or changes.”* Tonight I envision my cohorts across the planet—some awake, some busily involved; some young, some old; some rich, some poor. The truth is that none of us are entirely in control here. The “best laid plans o' mice an' men gang aft agley."** One thing we all have in common is that we are all on the verge.

This raises the question—the verge of what? Some would answer this in strictly material terms, while others look to abstract values and spiritual matters—not only to a landscape of things, but the meaning of things. Clearly both are important for us even in the simplest terms. But assignment of meaning can be extremely hazardous. We are only too well aware that this is an oppositional universe—the forces of light and life in opposition to the forces of darkness and death. Both can equally attribute meaning—much as a single tool can be seen and used for good or ill. Man as a creator made in the image of the Creator can choose either to affirm life or to destroy it. The forces of darkness are master deceivers well aware of the nature of man and often cloaking themselves in parodies of light and life. It is only through God’s grace that we can discern the ploy. Thus, overwhelmingly, the greatest challenge throughout our lives is to pray daily for God’s grace to see clearly and for courage to assign meaning truly and courageously.

*WordWeb Pro Dictionary
** Robert Burns in poem “To a Mouse.”

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