from William Wordsworth's "Resolution and Independence"

My former thoughts returned: the fear that kills;
And hope that is unwilling to be fed;
Cold, pain, and labour, and all fleshly ills;
And mighty Poets in their misery dead.
--Perplexed, and longing to be comforted,
My question eagerly did I renew,
"How is it that you live, and what is it you do?"

Monday, July 9, 2012

Thinking About God

By this title, I do not mean mystical contemplation, but I mean the equally hard work in another sphere--metaphysical analysis--real thought given to God, His place, our place, and meaning.  I have said elsewhere that I truly believe that we better serve God in ten minutes of carefully considered thought than we do in days of half-considered prayer.  God wants all of us--heart, soul, mind, and body.  He wants our love and our service and I have, at this point in my life come down on the side of first we know, then we love.  That is to say, we can love, admire, worship, from a distance, but there comes a time when the gap must be closed.  While God grants to some few the grace to close the gap through prayer--maybe to many--to others He poses the challenge of earnest thought.  Prayer alone will not seem to break through (though that is probably an illusion devised by the self to get in the way of actual progress--but then that self has been shaped and formed lovingly by God Himself--and so we're back into the question of why--which, for the purposes here, is irrelevant).

God wants us to think about Him--to pay attention and ask questions--even hard questions.  He does not want mindless obedience  (which is quite different from unquestioning obedience, which He grants as He wills as a gift to some few).  He is not interested in robots or auto-hypnotized subjects--people who have so long chanted their long litany of prayers that they no longer truly know who or what they serve in saying them.

God wants awareness.  He wants each of us to wake up.  And to each he grants the possibility of wakefulness--the possibility of being alive in Him.

1 comment:

  1. Steven --

    I am intrigued by this post. What you say has the ring of something significant and important.

    For some reason, in connection with your words, I think of the Greek word "nepsis" which, if I remember aright, means "sober vigilance, alertness, wakefulness." It has an ascetic connotation -- we're not to becloud ourselves or distract ourselves or stupefy ourselves with those easy pleasures of life if we're to be truly neptic, truly alive to (for lack of better words) the voice of God, or the promptings of grace.

    Maybe my digression is beside the point, but I'm grateful to see you posting here -- a post which merits further attentive pondering on my part!