Friday, March 14, 2014

Peculiarly His

Today you are making this agreement with the LORD: he is to be your God and you are to walk in his ways and observe his statutes, commandments and decrees, and to hearken to his voice.  Deuteronomy 26:17

But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.  Matthew 5:44-45

“A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.”  (James Joyce, “The Dead,” The Dubliners)

We are all in the same Spaceship.  What we do with our time here on earth matters.  We all start out with the same deal.  The LORD is to be our God and we are to walk in his ways.   In return, the Lord makes the sun rise on the bad and the good, causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust, and drops a cold blanket of snow upon all the living and all the dead.  He does not give good gifts to only His followers and reserve unpleasant-ness for his enemies.  We “quid pro quo-people” have a hard time understanding that fully.   We think rewards are for friends and punishments are for enemies.  But the Lord rewards His enemies and punishes His friends in equal measure. Peculiar.

For many reasons, people may choose not to walk in those ways or follow those decrees.   No matter what we decide, the Lord will not love us less nor shower us less with his good gifts.  The Lord does not seek our following any less or any more because of it.  But when we turn to develop a right and proper relationship, there will be much rejoicing when we decide to be peculiarly His.

Do something peculiar today. Something people don’t expect.  Something eccentric.  Pay for the coffee of the person behind you in line.  Give your server a really big tip. Buy flowers for no special occasion.  And then, don’t hang around for any reaction.  Just go about your business.  

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