Chisels, Hammers and Sandpaper

on 20 October 2008

"Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it." - Michaelangelo

We are all slabs of stone, some are large and grandiose, others strong and stout. We all entered this world as a "Tabula Rasa" A blank slate with which the Master sculpture was to create out of us, masterpieces. He was slated with the task of making us all perfect. A refiner can make silver perfect through the purity of the fire, the Master Sculpture makes a slab of stone into a perfected work of art not by adding more, but by taking away that which does not meet the qualifications of perfection. How would you feel if you had a chunk of yourself removed? It would hurt and it would be painful and you would ask Why? The Master looks and sees that we have the strength to bear the shearing of stone, but that in removing our imperfections, by cutting away and smoothing down and polishing us, we can become great works of art. We all too often are content to settle for something we created, but would it not be better to be touched by the masters hand and have the beauty to show for it?
Rather than settling for being a work of the human mind.

As we all struggle in life, we must focus on what the divine has in store for us, not for what the world has in mind and that as we stay strong for the Lord, He will create truly perfect beings out of our crude matter.

A Rough-hewn Divinity that Shapes Us All

on 19 October 2008

"There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will." - Hamlet

There is a grander picture that we can't see. We are staring at a square inch of tile, we know not what it is because we are deeply involved and invested in that one square inch. If we were to take a step back, we would see the beauty that is the sistine chapel. In this life, we are all connected and everything happens for more than one reason. While we have our own individual freedom within our section of that square inch, it will not effect the grand scheme, and it will only reflect poorly upon us to whom the stewardship of that inch was given. So why not listen to the master and learn from him and create a piece of mastery that has been touched by the masters hand. When we step back we will see that we are not a jumble of unconnected dots, but rather a picture of pointillism that is beautiful and funny and good. We must needs follow the plan of the master no matter how much we might desire something for ourselves because he is not a God of pacification, or soothsaying, but a God of Truth and Purity Much like the Furnace within which the impurities are removed until the master refiner can see his reflection in us.

Butter, Moths, and Flies

on 01 October 2008

"Growing up, I remember playing on the escalators at the mall. My favorite thing to do was to try to run up the escalator that was heading down. I am sure I was not alone doing this, but just in case you don't remember, the problem with doing this is that if you stop to catch your breath before you reach the end, you start losing ground. As I look at my life now in retrospect, I realize that I taught myself a good principle all those days on the escalators. I taught my self that in pursuing good, that stagnancy is death. If I stop doing good, I start doing bad. I find that this is true in almost all aspects of life, and it has been staring us in the face for years.

Many years ago, Yoda said "Do or do not, there is no try." This is the same principle. We must constantly seek to improve our lives, or our lives will be worse of than we were before. CS Lewis once stated "It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad." While this quote deals with other issues, the last part applies to what I am saying. You can not go on indefinitely remaining an egg, you must move on and progress, or rot. We must have constant vigilance and continue going on, if we do not we will fail. We must endure until the top of the staircase. This reminds me of an African story.

Every morning, when the sun comes up in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.

It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.

Every morning a lion wakes up.

It knows that it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.

It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle.

When the sun comes up, you better start running.

We had best start running, and keep going until we have finished the race or suffer the consequences of stopping.

I wrote this last year and recently revisited it. I want to know now is what happens when you discover that the race you thought you were in doesn't exist, or that while you thought you were a participant, you discovered you didn't have the necessary qualifications to compete halfway through the race. Should you push yourself to the end of the race, which you are not enjoying, for nothing, or should you drop out of the race and go and do something you enjoy. I guess it all comes down to a cost benefit ratio and sometimes it is troubling to discover the effects and results of that ratio.

What do you do to something when the cost far outweighs the benefit, logically you should drop it and focus on something with a higher cost/benefit right? I am in amongst that debate now and even though it would drastically change my life, I believe that the cost far outweighs the benefit in my situation and I, being the logical person that I am, am most likely going to change my lifestyle soon. I do not know what form it will take and what tendrils to my old life will remain, but I am going through a metamorphosis right now. Lets just hope that I emerge as something useful and productive that I can agree with and be happy and proud about. Because as Pete Rose says, "You owe it to yourself to be the best you can possibly be - in baseball and in life.

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