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Can We Perceive Loveliness?

November 19, 2013

Is beauty in the eye of the behold, or the nature of the object being held?

Is beauty in the eye of the behold, or the nature of the object being held?

I had a conversation with my 13yo about this statement:
“Boredom is the seed of unloveliness.” Leigh Bortins refers to this idea in this video after reading a priest’s passionate book on cooking, The Supper of the Lamb. He has a chapter on smelling onions or loving onions?!
My son defined “boredom” and we defined “loveliness”. He remarked that loveliness included what is good, and “what you like”. That opened up a conversation about whether there are things that are lovely whether we see them as such or not. Is a rose lovely whether you like it or not? Is creation lovely because a loving God made it, not because we perceive it as such? Does our minute perception or opinion diminish the eternal beauty of created situations, subjects, or seasons of life?
Part of his definition of “boredom” was – not wanting to work. Yes! I am so glad he didn’t say – when there’s nothing to do, because the point of the quote is that the reason you perceive something as unlovely is because you do not want to work at seeing the lovely – if you are bored with it, it is unlovely to you – is this a correct way to assess loveliness?
What makes a thing boring – is it the hard work? Is it the lack of natural affinity – and then should an acquired affinity be attempted? – Because that strikes at the heart of the essence of Classical education – beholding the true, the good, the beautiful.
Here was a quote she also referenced from Plato’s Meno . Plato credits Socrates as saying:
“Some things I have said of which I am not altogether confident. But that we shall be better and braver and less helpless if we think that we ought to inquire than we should have been if we indulged in the idle fancy that there was no knowing and no use in seeking to know what we do not know; — that is a theme upon which I am ready to fight, in word and deed, to the utmost of my power.”
I want to convey to my children they should not be content to just be bored or dislike something – they should seek to ask why they don’t like something, and then seek to undislike it, acquire an appreciation of its inherent loveliness, and this may require hard work.
But what can I-I-I do to exemplify and inspire this attitude, or principle? I hope my children see me seeking what is true, and good, and lovely, and not avoiding the things that are hard for me.
Although, I will say I avoid housework. And as I listened to Leigh and her going through these ideas of loveliness and the passionate cooking priest loving onions, I wondered about the need for me to stop and seek the loveliness of keeping my home. – Help me, Lord Jesus!
What are some things you avoid because you perceive them as hard or unlovely? Can you see a need to ask God – how is this thing lovely and help me to work hard to see it that way too?
Some recommendations that reflect these ideas:

The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection (Modern Library Paperbacks),
Beauty for Truth’s Sake: On the Re-enchantment of Education,
Meno

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Who Likes Being a Failure, Raise Your Hand!

January 22, 2013

Well, you can’t see it, but my hand is not raised. I’m sure yours isn’t either. Yes, there are those of us who have resigned ourselves to failure in certain areas, or concerning things in the past. But nobody enjoys failing. Nobody likes being a failure.

What happens when your spouse leaves, or your child grows up to not be all you wanted them to be? What happens when your life at this moment is utterly removed from all you had hoped and dreams so many years ago?

failure.

Right?

Definitions are such an important part, or should be, of how we perceive a situation. Is the opposite of success failure? Isn’t that what we just said? Wasn’t what we really meant: My marriage was unsuccessful; I was an unsuccessful parent; my life is unsuccessful. I failed. I failed. I failed.

Right?

What if…

What if, God has a different definition of failureSuccess?

What if God said to you like he said to me: I didn’t call you to be successful; I called you to be faithful.

Oh.

Oh wait just a minute. Because I know I wasn’t perfect as a spouse, or a parent, or in my life, but I do know I was faithful. I never stopped coming back to you, Lord in my marriage; I never stopped looking to you for my child, Lord; I never stopped trusting you with my life, Lord. I’m hurt, I’m disappointed, I’m disheartened, but I’m not unfaithful. And neither are You.

Success belongs to God. It seems like semantics, but like a tiny seed, a word will plant and grow into thoughts, which branch into ideas, which give fruit to beliefs. What do you believe about your part in any success or failure related to your life?

Scripture tells us about one planting one watering; but God gives the increase (the harvest, the success). 1 Cor 3:6

Verse 7: So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

God isn’t looking for your works: your success! Just your faithfulness.

Even where you fall short in believing or having faith, Jesus is the author and the perfecter of such things. that means he begins our faith and he completes what we lack! Isn’t that awesome? I fail to always believe my situation is going to get better, or change but God is fully faithful, and Jesus makes up for my lack. Heb 12:2.

Put off the “old man” with his idea of  failure! Put on the new man, who only by faith and only by faithfulness should judge his “success”.

This post is part of a blog carnival you can enjoy at: http://peterpollock.com/2013/01/failures-blog-carnival/

Regret or Repent

September 16, 2012

Imagehttp://kibitskayainna.wordpress.com/dear-love/ – picture credit.

 

 

 

“I regret the actions I took with that woman…” Really? I bet you do. But you aren’t repentant are you. No, it’s not a question; it’s an honest observation.

So what is the difference between regretting and repenting?

Regretting is wishing you hadn’t done what you did; repenting is being sorry you did.

Judas’ problem wasn’t that he betrayed Jesus – Peter basically did that! – Judas’ problem, the reason he resides in hell today, is not his sin of action, but his sin of inaction: he didn’t repent. He regretted what he did. He told the Pharisees all about it. But he didn’t tell God, and he didn’t repent.

You may be at a point in your life where you have an overload of regrets that haunt you like angry old specters. They add up, gang up and torment you, your body, your mind, your soul, your spirit.

But you’ve never repented. Not once. You wish you hadn’t done a lot of things, but you’ve never hoped to do this one thing: humble yourself before God and admit you were wrong; not that you wouldn’t have done those things – because you did do those things! – but that you shouldn’t have done those things.

God’s not interested in your wishes; he doesn’t grant them.

God answers prayer.

He gives grace to the humble.

Forgiveness to the repentant.

 

 

Leave your regrets where your sins are: in the past.

 

Repent. For in repentance there is hope. Life. Change. Rest.

 

Peace.

 

How My Daddy Died

June 12, 2012

How My Daddy Died

On Thursday, January 19th, 2012 my daddy, Clyde B. Wainwright …”slipped the surely bonds of earth to touch the face of God.”* How did he die? Like a man.

My daddy was born on February 3th, 1930. He was almost 82 years old. He’d been sick, for quite a while, but none of us is really sure how long, because he wouldn’t tell anyone if he was hurting.

My daddy proudly entered the U.S. Army when he turned 18 and served over 20 years including 2 tours to Vietnam. He went on to also serve the great state of Texas through Texas Department of Corrections at the Coffield unit for 10 years. When they offered him a promotion from Lieutenant to Captain, he declined. He was content and didn’t want the added responsibility and necessary move associated with that little bit of pay.

My daddy was truly always and only married to one lady, the love of his life, hard to get; fickle as she was, he just couldn’t quit her: golf. She enraptured him during the years of the depression when as a young boy he went to a course offering to caddy for money. The glint of those clubs winked his way, those dimples in the little white ball, he couldn’t resist. Till the very last dregs of his swing were consumed by arthritis and age, and he could no longer stand steady, did he give up courting her courses. But never in his heart.

My daddy was fiesty. Not mean, or vicious; just fiesty. And he was proud. Proud to be a man. He enjoyed being a man. So it was hard to watch him grow more and more unsteady, feeble, elderly. I didn’t think about it, but I apparently believed that he was going to be prideful, difficult, and fight getting old or sick – maybe even bitter, because I was pleasantly surprised how easy he took his later years. As he needed more and more help to walk or stay steady, he took it, he laughed about it, he made up funny quips about his faultering.

He didn’t want to go to a nursing home, but he didn’t make anyone feel bad about it. He didn’t grow bitter or angry or demanding. He would even try finding cute ways to get the nurses to stay in his room for company at night. He had those ministering spirits God gave him in the nurses who were relatives and their friends. Oh, God’s favor was always on my daddy every where he went. Everyone loved his fun personality, and even if they didn’t always agree with his leadership, they respected it. In the ICU-Hospice ward, they called him, “The General”. I know he loved that. So even as liver failure was setting in, he was still making a sad and grim situation work for him.

He didn’t fuss or cry, and his body lingered on 3 more days after the decision to cease intervention. He bore it and went to be with the Lord. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t pleasant. It wasn’t pitiful either. My daddy taught me a lot about getting old, being sick, and dying.

Like a man.

A man I will always love and admire.

* Ronald Reagan. Speech after the Challenger Disaster. January 28, 1986. Speech by Peggy Noonan.

“I” For Intelligence?

May 18, 2012

alphabet letters I coloring page

I don’t care for intelligence that intimidates. I am drawn to intelligence that inspires.

Intelligence that seeks to intimate my ignorance is lacking integrity, because at its core ulteriorly it’s all about the importance of “I”.

Intelligence that instructs me, isn’t full of insecurity – just the opposite – its instrinsic value is found in others’ intake and ability to digest intricacies for the use of understanding. More about you than the importance of I.

That’s the sort of intelligence I am interested in.

Logic for the Sake of Logic

January 31, 2012

The Logic god.

God showed me a picture of my habits and coping mechanisms.Does God ever speak to you in pictures? We often have “conversations” this way.

::I am a child burdened with boxes I utilize to cope and get along, and that I think are so crucial or helpful::

But God says, No, no. These aren’t Me.

For example, one was this velvety blue box which I immediately removed the lid to and turned it upside down to sit just inside the box. I began filling it with water: Does it hold water?

– I tend to test everything against scripture. I couldn’t see how this was a bad thing! I couldn’t get past it. I still don’t understand it.

But, finally I resolved to know what else the box represented. If it was God showing me something he would complete the picture.

So I removed the lid completely and looked inside the box – and there in the velvet lined, deep blue interior was a large magnifying glass: well maintained, tenderly kept.

– Everything must be examined and magnified to see if it be true, reasonable, and logical. And woe to that which is none of these! – So my attitude often is.

I really do pride myself on logic and reason. And I’m not even that deeply educated in either discipline!! But it’s the world’s favorite language. Even Paul met the logic or reason of different cultures. Jesus argued the Pharisees arguments. I thought that’s what I was trying to do. But God is saying he is not in this fixation. I didn’t fully understand, but I gave him the box, trusting he would change me or redirect me.

Here is a current, practical situation I so desperately want to meet with logic or reason – tell me what you think!

A speaker said in a recent homeschool convention session that her daughter encountered a professor at Oxford that declared: How do you know there is “childhood”? Why wouldn’t children want or be allowed to watch p*rnogr@phy?

gut reaction:

(AHHHHHH OMG OMG OMG WHAT????)

punch, slap, kick said professor and then check desk for crack pipe.

The speaker said she could see how they had raised their children to have a worldview and a heart for the Kingdom of God and winning souls for that kingdom by her daughter’s reaction and confiding statement to her mother: Mom, she’s a lost soul.

It really bothered me!!! Not her statement, the crazy crack-addict professor’s.

Now, after thinking about it for a few hours, I decided instead of beating her, I want so badly to be able to ask – with all sincerity and gentleness, because NOW I have a question in the vein of HER reasoning or logic: (I still think this is right!!)

I want to ask the professor: Well, if there be no childhood, why would these small people(?) be sitting around watching anything? Why wouldn’t they be working? Why are there “child labor laws”? The Convention on the Rights of a “Child” says their “childhood” should be protected from work: why? If they be just little people and we be just big people, why should big people be paying for them to have or do ANYTHING (let alone p0rnogr@phy – oi vey!); why wouldn’t the “little people” just find labor that is suited for them so we are ALL contributing to the welfare of society? That’s how it was before the early 1900’s. Now we have fat, lazy, sassy “little people”. Seems to me they should be off their butt working, not watching p0rn!

Come on! Isn’t that good? Wouldn’t that make the woman ( hopefully) pause for thought?

Hurray if it could!

But is that God?

I don’t know what Jesus would have said or done. But by his words he either condemned or graced the receivers of his arguments – and all to point toward the Kingdom of Heaven.

I don’t know that my obsessive use of logic and reasoning or testing is always pointing back to the Kingdom of God.

Unfortunately, it may some times, be pointing to its own little god: the god of logic and reason for logic and reason’s sake.

Help me, Lord!

Christ’s Name in Vain

December 13, 2011

What do you think about taking the name of the Lord in vain? What constitutes such an action or verbal sin?

What about “Merry Chistmas”?

 

When we say Merry Christmas, what are we saying? Are we merry? Are we celbrating Christ’s Mass?

 

Or, as vehemently as we are fighting to keep the word, Christ in Christmas, are we just as vehemently keeping Him in it?

What are we doing?

What are we doing at Christmas to honor the namesake?

Decorating?

Purchasing?

Pursuing deals?

Overspending?

Overeating?

Stressing?

Worrying?

Spoiling children?

INVOLKING THE NAME, SANTA???

Where is Christ in Christmas?

 

Because if we are supposedly celebrating his birthday, How are we making His birthday about HIM? What gifts are we bringing him that HE would desire and enjoy?

Mercy

ForGIVEness

Grace

Sacrifice

Giving in the nature of need not want

Love

 

Is Christ in your Chistmas?

 

If not, then just go on ahead and say, Happy Holiday, because that’s all it will really be about: happy, sappy day off for you.

Not Merry, or Joyful, or Hopeful

Not a celebration of the ONLY reason there is a season of giving and mirth: the birth of our Savior: Christ the King

Who showed us mercy by forgiving us our sins while we were still sinners.

Who bestowed grace upon us by sacrficing himself for our fallenness.

Who didn’t offer us useless gifts that money can buy and time can break.

But met us in our need by his love.

 

I pray you have a Christ-filled Chistmas this year.

 

But otherwise, Happy Holiday.

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