Friday, December 03, 2004

Iron Plus Fire

· In an earlier blog, I may have shared that some months ago, I consulted my daughter in law, an evangelical Christian (my classification not necessarily hers) about a book of daily Christian devotions that I include in my daily (or almost daily) early morning reading. The book she recommended Streams of Devotion is one that she, herself, reads each morning. It is a happy thought for me that this is an experience we share together, thought a considerable physical distance apart, on most days.

· A common message, expressed in various metaphors, and supported by various Biblical texts is that life is challenges, which are, in turn, a source of strength. I found the following passage. read some mornings ago, so compelling that I transcribed it and have it posted in a couple of places where it will strike my eyes, periodically:

Very few Christians are willing to endure the suffering through which complete gentleness is obtained. We must die to ourselves before we are turned into gentleness and our crucifixion involves suffering. It will mean experiencing genuine brokenness and a crushing of self, which will be used to afflict the heart and conquer the mind.

This morning’s reading communicated the same theme somewhat differently:

Steel is the product of iron, plus fire. Soil is rock, plus heat and the crushing of glaciers. Linen is flax, plus the water that cleans it, the comb that separates, the flail that pound it, and the shutter that weaves it. In the same way the development of human character requires a plus attached to it, for great character is made not through luxurious living but through suffering. And the world does not forget people of great character.

These passages provide a bit of solace as I continue to toil at the seemingly endless task of rationalizing AUs AV department budget, this Friday evening, as midnight approaches.


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