Raindrops + Space Heaters

An intro. And some thoughts.

2009 has begun and thank the good Lord above. '08 was a trying year to say the least. But I must say we've gotten through it with growth.  And sometimes that growth hurts really bad, but here we are anyways.  My primary job the last month and a half has been to find a job.  I haven't really had much success and one of the things you are allowed to do (if you so choose) is read.  

I'm reading 3 books on modern Christian thought, one book by GK Chesterton (
Orthodoxy), one by Shane Claiborne (The Irresistible Revolution) and one by Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz).  All of the books are fairly common and Chesterton's book, written originally in 1908, paints much of the thoughts that Claiborne and Miller depict in their own words.  I've quoted Chesterton often on my blog, and I'll most like continue to, but his main conclusion for the problems of the world is himself.  Miller and Claiborne both come to this same conclusion, and I must say I have so myself.  To quote Miller:

"I think every concious person who is awake to the functioning principles within his reality, has a moment where he stops blaming the problems in the world on group think, on humanity and authority, and starts to face himself.  I hate this more than anything.  This is the hardest principle within Christian spirituality for me to deal with.  The problem is not out there; the problem is the needy beast of a thing that lives in my chest."

I wont tell you I have some amazing revelation, and I'm a changed man now that  I lost my job.  It's not that easy.  But I will tell you I've suffered and hurt and stressed myself and my wife out about the most ridiculous of things.  And this "needy beast of a thing" has completely consumed me the last few weeks.  And by seeing it and feeling it, I've learned (so far at least) to appreciate raindrops and space heaters.  And to quote him again, Chesterton states:

"The proper form of thanks to it is some form of humility and restraint; we should thank God for beer and Burgundy by not drinking too much of them.  We owed, also an obedience to whatever made us."

Not to say that I've exercised that restraint (because God knows I haven't enough), but to say that when you see that humility in someone else it makes you think a little more about that "needy beast of a thing" and that that thing is quite needy, and it makes it even harder to exercise restraint.  And why is that so bloody hard to do?  But it does lead one to the conclusion that there are amazingly great things in the world, and we are made to enjoy them.  I speak in a collective sense, the rich and the poor, the healthy and the sick, the whole and the broken.  Claiborne speaks well on this:

"I long for the lepers to meet the landowners and for each to see God's image in the other.  It's no wonder that the footsteps of Jesus lead from the tax collectors to the lepers.  I truly believe that when the poor meet the rich, riches will have no meaning.  And when the rich meet the poor, we will see poverty come to an end."

Sometimes it sounds cliche and stupid to talk about ending poverty.  It has become marketable.  But what Claiborne says is very true.  It is the meaning of Christianity I think and when we come to realize it in ourselves, we'll realize it in others too.  

I'm just another broken fellow from North Carolina who's reading fairly simplistic books on theology and making comments about them.  It seems this job search is turning into a search for many other things.

So here's to '09.




heanguy said...

Broken, but at least you don't have to do the fixing. Thanks for the words.

And I like the new look Revolu.

Volpack said...

Orthodoxy is one of my favorite books. I love the part where he starts to talk about how God is youger than us (in viewpoint), in that God can look at a field of flowers and say over and over "Do it again" and never get tired of the wonder and beauty.

Anonymous said...

hear, hear revolu! be encouraged to know that you are an encouragement to me. keep rockin the free world. be well.
"the glory of God is man fully alive"- st augustine.

rawbin said...

that was good for me.

thank you.

we miss you & love you.