Life And Love

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Life has got to be bigger than death,
and love has got to be bigger than fear
or this is all a total bust and we are
all just going tourist class.

–Anne Lamott

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You Did Not Light It

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Do you see this lantern? cried Syme in a terrible voice.’Do you see the cross carved on it, and the flame inside? You did not make it. You did not light it. Better men than you, men who could believe and obey, twisted the entrails of iron and preserved the legend of fire. There is not a street you walk on, there is not a thread you wear, that was not made as this lantern was, by denying your philosophy of dirt and rats. You can make nothing. You can only destroy. You will destroy mankind, you will destroy the world. Let that suffice you. Yet this one old Christian lantern you shall not destroy. It shall go where your empire of apes will never have the wit to find it.

― G. K. Chesterton,
The Man Who Was Thursday

Something Higher

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An ancient Hebrew songwriter coined a phrase: “Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”

I think he was on to something.

We need something higher. A vantage point. Something above. Something that transcends us.

In a world where equality reigns, where everyone is in the same boat, on the same level, in the same mess, we are left without a clear reference point. We have no guiding star to show the way. We are without a North Pole to make our moral compass work. No clear guidelines. Just sameness.

We need a Rock that is higher.

If we develop and choose our own values, then what we put in with one hand, we are taking out with the other. We end up building on something no better, no higher than ourselves. Not a promising foundation.

Equality informs us that no one has the right to judge. We are all in the same soup. No one is qualified to say something is wrong or evil, or to suggest their opinion is the best. All ideas are equal—except, of course, the idea that one might be better than another.

If that’s the case, Mother Teresa and Hitler end up on the same level. Heaven and hell would no longer exist. If no one has the right to “judge,” then the Holocaust and hospitals are both equally valid. We have no solid basis to discriminate between killers and caregivers. We are left only with different options, opinions, and personal preferences. We have leveled the playing field, and now it’s all up for grabs.

We have become confused about gender. We don’t know how to differentiate between men and women, or how many variations there are in between. Everyone is free to make their choice from the gender smorgasbord. We don’t know which bathroom to use, or if we should say Mr, Mrs, Ms, or something else. We are at sea without a rudder.

How did we get into this mess?

We need something rocklike—something solid that doesn’t shift or quake with each passing fad. A strong foundation that is resilient and resistant to the changing winds that blow. Something fixed and unmovable.

We need something higher.

Maybe . . . it’s Someone higher that we need.

Someone to define which direction is up and which is down, how things are to work, how life is to be lived. That would sure help.

Maybe there is Someone.

Perhaps we lost our way because we lost sight of Him.

Maybe we need to join the Hebrew poet and said: “Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”

—J. O. Schulz