Thursday, February 02, 2017

Teaching The Eternal, Five Things

 Trying to reduce what to pass on to the next generation to "5 things", or even one thing, is a time honored desire of mankind. At some point in our short lives, we realize that we won't be around long in any case, and usually realize through the death of a friend or family member that "short time" may be our next breath.

As in much of modern life, the author jumped right by meaning on the way to his list.

We’ve prioritized the acquisition of knowledge around what we assume society would deem most “worthy”. For much of history, knowledge was rooted in theology: it was about explaining the world in a supernatural way, seeing goodness as a tenet. The industrial revolution saw a vast shift away from this to a way of maximizing return on investment in a production-centric environment.
His list is:
  1. Relationships
  2. Curiosity
  3. Agility
  4. Creativity
  5. Compassion 
I'd argue that for all of history -- past, present and future, a meaningful life is, has, and will be about MEANING. The core of all life in the past and all life in the future consists of birth, family and death. Some may want to remove family, however we are all born into one, and if a majority decides that having children and raising them well is not a priority, then their and our future history ceases. This fact has been lost on Western civilization today. 

My life is still based on "theology" in the sense of faith. All lives are -- including the list author, the only question is the realization of that fact. He has faith in a meaningless godless universe / world, and that his five items can make a life worth living. He chooses to either ignore philosophy or just lump it in with theology as no longer applicable to the world he believes he lives in. A scientific world that denies human consciousness, love and beauty because none of those are measurable. 

My list is as follows: 

  1. Faith -- "The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God". The base of all meaning to is the tenet of a teleological universe that is created by a PERFECT God and fallen through misuse of the gift of free will. We all have a faith -- if you believe you don't, study some basic philosophy to understand what your faith is (solipsism, empiricism, determinism, positivism, etc)

    Faith and hope cover "agility" from the other list. By accepting our true place in the universe, the things of this world can be considered in the perspective of God's perfect love and the fact of eternity.

    It all has a purpose, and that purpose is greater than me. (although, God wants it to INCLUDE me!)
  2. Hope -- Of redemption for me, redemption for those I love, and eventual redemption or re-perfection of the world and universe by a sovereign God. The story of life the universe and everything has a universal class happy ending, insured by God.
  3. Love -- Love for God, love for family, love for others, and love for myself as I know God loves me. Relationships and compassion on the other list are covered by love.

    "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs ..."

    Christ (and the Beatles) tell is love is all we need. "Love the Lord thy God wIth all thy heart and soul, and thy neighbor as yourself" (even (especially?) if your neighbor is your "enemy").
  4. Wisdom -- As I believe I live in a meaningful universe, God has provided me with a desire to know him and to grant me wisdom. Some now, much more in eternity. The pursuit of wisdom is one of my greatest joys.
  5. Vocation -- God has given me a purpose, and if I seek him, that purpose is made clear to me. As I work at my purpose, God directs the universe to help me to "succeed" in achieving of that purpose.

    That purpose may be the bearing of great pain and suffering -- even unto death, or it may be ruling the world. To look at these and accept the sovereignty of God so that my ultimate purpose is the achievement of God's will, not mine, is the way to the most coveted prize of every life "Well done my good and faithful servant". 

It was an interesting exercise to try to do my list of five. Christ knows it best -- the greatest is love! ... and I'm obviously a work in progress since that came in 3rd on my list. 

'via Blog this'

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