Saturday, May 27, 2006

Thoughts along the way...

The other day, I heard this song on the radio. I don't know the title, but the chorus was familiar. But, listening closely, I objected to almost everything in it;

Don't cry out loud
Just keep it inside
And learn to hide your feelings

Fly high and proud
And if you should fall
Remember you almost made it
(Remember you almost had it all)

I don't believe in any of that. Bottling up feelings only makes things worse; enough with the masks. But we often wear masks so as not to hurt others, so as not to allow our burdens to trouble those we love. Yet the mask is often not what we think it is. At first glance, Superman doesn't seem to wear a mask, but he does: Clark Kent is his mask. Likewise it is not Bruce Wayne who wears the Batman's mask, but Batman who wears Bruce Wayne.

As for flying high and proud, it seems to echo Isaiah's soaring with eagles (Isaiah 40:31), yet it is anything but. Almost making it is the same as never making it. And 'having it all' ought never to be our goal in life. Jesus himself taught and lived a life of self-emptying and servanthood, as in Matthew 20;

"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Yesterday at the Homeschoolers' Family Carnival held at Acts Church in Subang Jaya, the actor David Sanborn performed a solo musical/sketch of King David's life. (Oh, only now do I realise he played the Bible character after whom he was named...) At the end of it, he pointed back to Jesus, saying that Jesus is the most qualified person we can trust, because he is the smartest and most loving of all. These words strongly echo Dallas Willard's thoughts in 'The Divine Conspiracy' and beg the question: do I really trust Jesus, or else what (and where) is my faith?

David wanted to build a house for God, but it was God who would do it for David (2 Samuel 7:5-16), and he spoke these words through the prophet Nathan;

"...Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, 'Why have you not built me a house of cedar?'

"...I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth. And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.

"The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever."

As I read the passage above, I felt that it exuded much power. Yet I feel there is far more to it than its Messianic implications. But I have yet to explore it in detail, and I believe I will be coming back to this portion of Scripture many times in days to come.

Two readings from the Poetry Speaks calendar, 18 and 19 May respectively:

"Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during a moment."

--Carl Sandburg

Nurse's Song by William Blake

When the voices of children, are heard on the green
And whisp'rings are in the dale:
The days of my youth rise fresh in my mind,
My face turns green and pale.

Then come home my children, the sun is gone down
And the dews of night arise
Your spring & your day, are wasted in play
And your winter and night in disguise.

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