Saturday, August 11, 2007

Contradictions?

I was lying on my bed listening to the Dixie Chicks and reading 2 Timothy, and I remembered Alexandr Tvardovsky, the editor of Novy Mir, beginning to read Alexandr Solzhenitsyn's "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch." Tvardovsky, seeing the greatness of this work, felt that to lie in bed while reading it was insolent, and so he got up and went down to the kitchen, made himself a cup of tea, and sat at the kitchen table to read.

And there I was, lying on my bed, reading the word of God and listening to the Dixie Chick's "Easy Silence," praise to God that is so true and profound that it too deserves careful attention.

Well, I dunno, but God let me see something important in each, even lying on my bed.

Paul wrote to Timothy concerning the gift of God that was in him through the laying on of his hands. This raises a question: what if there is no one like Paul available to lay hands on you to impart such a gift? Then I realized something important. The church doesn't necessarily lay hands on its ministers to confer a blessing that it has for them. It may also do so to acknowledge its own poverty and its need to be blessed by its servant. And this is very empowering, because God gives grace to those who need it, and he withholds it, and his servants, from those who don't, as we see in Laodicea. So the minister is truly empowered by the church because the church is humbly declaring that it recognizes God working in him and that it needs that service.

Meanwhile Natalie was declaring how God keeps the world at bay for her, and I realized that this is the victory - God keeping evil at bay in our relationship with him, not us accomplishing something.

So Tvardovsky was right from a certain point of view. And I was right to listen to Paul and the Dixie Chicks even while I was lying on my bed. The truth deserves to be gotten up for, and the truth deserves to be heard even when you don't get up. Any job worth doing is worth doing right - but any job really worth doing is worth doing any way you can, too.

The next time you see contradictions in the Bible, you may want to think about these things. As it is written, sound wisdom is double.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another excellent and inspiring post.
Yeah, the Georges (2 adults, 2 urchins) will be coming to your wedding. Thanks for inviting us!

Joe

8/14/2007 8:36 AM  

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