God among His other functions must be a tireless activity working towards an end. Everything He calls into being works toward that end, I myself with the rest. I am not a purposeless bit of jetsam flung out on the ocean of time to be tossed about helplessly. God couldn’t so will an existence. It would not be in keeping with His economy to have any entity wasted. As Our Lord puts it, the sparrow cannot fall without Him; without Him the lilies are not decked; the knowledge possessed by His infinite intelligence is so minute that the very hairs of the head are numbered. My life, my work, myself—all are as much a necessary part of His design as the thread the weaver weaves into the pattern in a carpet. In other words, I am not a free agent. I am His agent. Not only am I responsible to him, but He is responsible for me. His responsibility for me will be seen as soon as I give up being responsible for myself.”
— The Conquest of Fear by Basil King
I was in a meeting earlier today where I was reminded of this quote. “The Conquest of Fear” by Basil King was published nearly one hundred years ago but the wisdom distilled in its pages is timeless. King’s thoughts are very liberating and have been insightful in my life. I am grateful to the man who first shared this book with me over thirty-five years ago.
I began this experiment with public sharing of my thoughts a bit over three years ago shortly after I suffered a pulmonary embolism. I felt a need to write and discovered that I can write and some like my sister and son believe that I should continue. It’s been an interesting and informative way for me to reflect on what’s going on. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on my ideas that I would not have received otherwise. Some of the discussions have helped me to better understand issues or gain some insight I might never have gained otherwise.
Lately, I’ve been without words but not without thoughts, just the inability or unwillingness to express them. I’ve been thinking about retiring for nearly a year now. Some of the events of the last year pushed me in that direction and others have pulled me back. On Friday another such event led me to strongly consider the retirement option again. Fear is the only thing holding me back. Franklin Roosevelt said, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Fear can cripple and it’s been crippling me. It’s in these moments that I am drawn back to the wise counsel of one of my spiritual advisors who years ago told me never to put limits on the power of God. Not the God of religion but God as I understood Him. This same guy gave me a book nearly twenty-five years ago which is still in my library, “The Conquest of Fear,” by Basil King. My friend’s wise counsel and King’s book have come to my aid many times and from it’s pages sprang the hope that makes even today possible.
It’s up to you to do this thing just as if you had all the facilities. Go at it boldly, and you’ll find unexpected forces closing round you and coming to your aid.–Basil King, Conquest of Fear
This morning finds me sitting in my hermitage, writing this reflection and reading the words of Basil King and considering too all of sacred scripture and all the other wisdom texts I know and love and what they have to say on this subject.
I came across this quote from Marianne Williamson. I first heard it a couple of years ago at Mt. Irenaeus. I think it’s a powerful thought and one worth sharing again and again.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”–Marianne Williamson
This week as I watched California burning and read in the evening paper that in five years 36% of our states will face a water shortage I thought that’s something we ought to be genuinely concerned about. Continue reading “A world turned upside down..”
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, pondering and meditating lately. I live a life of active contemplation. Despite this or because of it I am blessed. My recent decision to apply to an MBA program has been born of this contemplation. At the same time I am given to pondering the imponderables and wondering if I’m doing the right thing. Everyone including one of my spiritual advisors have suggested that I should pursue this thought with more action.
Continue reading “His agent”