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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Triumph Over Transience

What do you see in your own life that parallels Peter’s attempt to walk on water? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1361).

I think it may be a sort of arrogance on the part of any mere mortal to dream of making a decisive difference in this world—for good or ill, but most especially for good. It is rather easy I suppose to make a difference for ill; all one need do in America is secure a gun (available everywhere—we are a nation of abundance) and kill an innocent bystander. And we must not underestimate the attractiveness this alternative can have for an errant loner with haunting diffuse anxieties of ineffectiveness. Yet, to do something good that might have lasting impact on anyone…that belief requires bare-knuckle faith. The transience of life and the steady reminder of obsolescence, including that of any good we may do, comprise the inexorable drumbeat of fate that undermine any drive to realize permanent beneficent change. The only satisfactory response to this innervating undermining of effort is the tenacious belief that eternal providence stands ready to underwrite our meager contributions miraculously and significantly (like the growth of a little mustard seed). If we don’t have this faith, we will soon find ourselves moping about with our tails between our legs. For humans, to be happy and tail wagging requires either a good measure of false and foolish hope or, on the contrary, an abiding belief in the realism and efficaciousness of faith.

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