L'Abri Journals...ACGray

January 2003
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The Calendar Turns

The Way begins where for Christ Himself is mortal part ended at the cross.  There alone, with all our earthly defenses down and our earthly possessions relinquished, we can confront the true circumstances of our being; there alone grasp the triviality of these seemingly so majestic achievements of ours, like going to the moon, unraveling our genes, fitting one another with each others hearts, livers, and kidneys.  There, contemplating God in the likeness of man, we may understand how foolish and inept is man when he sees himself in the likeness of God.     Malcolm Muggeridge, Jesus Rediscovered.


Chalet LAbri, January 1, 2003

A page from my journal.acg


          Once more, precisely on schedule, our planet, whirling and tilting in space, records a new beginning to a brand new year.  I take note with an immense measure of gratitude that I am among the living, that I seemingly have most of my wits about me, and that I enjoy a full measure of good health as the calendar turns.  Living as I do in the shadows of the Blue Ridge where the seasons are distinct, I give thanks for the faith to believe that no matter the foolish interferences of man, a sovereign Captain masters our good ship Earth.

I am reading again Malcolm Muggeridges insightful book, Jesus Rediscovered.  Ever the iconoclast, Muggeridge spears the sort of scientific utopia imagined by writers like Aldous Huxley and George Orwell in a sermon he once delivered at St. Aldates Church, Oxford.  In it he asks the question, "Is God in charge of our affairs, or are we?.Whereas formerly it was considered mans highest aim to understand Gods purpose for him, and his highest achievement to fulfill that purpose, now we are urged to dispense with God altogether, and assume control ourselves of the world, the universe and our own collective and individual destiny.  God, we are told if he ever existed has died;  as a concept, He is not needed any more.  Our apprenticeship is served; mankind has come of age, and the time has come for us to assume control of ourselves and our world in our own right."

          Muggeridge imagines some future historian looking at us back across the centuries:   "What will he make of it all?.They cant really have believed, hell say to himself, that this notion of Progress they bandied about meant anything.  That happiness lay along the motorways, and wellbeing in a rising Gross National Product.  That birth pills, easy divorce and abortion made for happy families, and sex and barbiturates for quiet nights.  There must, hell conclude, be some other explanation; a civilization must have been possessed by a death wish which so assiduously and ingeniously sought its own extinction physically, by devoting so much of its wealth, knowledge and skills to creating the means to blow itself and all mankind to smithereens; economically, by developing a consumer economy whereby more and more wants have to be artificially created and stimulated in order to take up an endlessly expanding production; morally by abolishing the moral order altogether and pursuing the will-o-the-wisp of happiness through satiety;  spiritually, by abolishing God Himself and setting up man as the arbiter of his own destiny.  A big laugh there for our historian.as, looking back, he notes how our generation of men proved the least like gods, the least capable of coping with the complexities and dilemmas of their time, of any that had ever existed on earth."

         As I journal these thoughts, a flock of robins traveling in tandem has appeared on my front lawn.  Why come they to this place at midwinter?  Quo Vadis?,  Where are you going?  I ask the robins and myself as well.  Some inner radar guides their flight down the mid-Atlantic.  Some inner radar likewise screens me safely to places yet unknown, watched by a loving, caring Creator.    Uppermost in my thoughts as the new year begins is a prayer that I might be a worthy steward of my allotted time, that my quest for meaning might increase, that I might garner the wisdom to share that which is vouchsafed me, and that I might wring from every moment the joy of being a child of God.

"Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever!  I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth.  And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in the flesh I will see God."  Job 19:23-26