Thursday, March 15, 2007

Progress


Good day to you. Spring Break is occurring this week in most parts of America. Question: is Spring Break only an American phenomenon, or does it take place around the world? I confess I could have Googled this topic and shared the answer with you, but the thought just crossed my mind as I was typing so I’ll let one of you share the answer with the world.

And speaking of Google…I use it for my default search engine. They’ve updated it with gmail and a customizable home page, etc., that I find cool right now. Anyway, one of the elements that I’ve chosen to appear on my home page everyday is called “Quote Of The Day”. It displays 3 random quotes each day that for me, stimulate thought. Oddly, at this point in my life I’m finding more and more that I need that stimulation to keep from staring into to space drooling for hours……just kidding! (or am I?)

Anyway, one of today’s quotes was from Oscar Wilde, “Who is Oscar Wilde?” you ask…Google him, you’ll find more info than you wanted. The quote was: “Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience and rebellion that progress has been made.” I think Wilde is partially correct, and partially incorrect. Let me explain.

I think he’s dead on when he says that man’s (and woman’s) original virtue is disobedience. Think about it, it’s the one thing you can count on when it comes to human-kind. If there is a rule, you can bet someone will break it. That’s been proven over and over again throughout history, as Wilde points out. Which I find interesting in itself; I mean, every “civilized” society has been built on a rule of law…are we just setting ourselves up for failure? I digress, Wilde is correct on this point.

Where I think Wilde misses the point is in the “…through disobedience and rebellion that progress has been made.” Disobedience and rebellion causes brokenness in trust and a breakdown in order. And while the rule of law may go against our inclination to rebel, it does provide an order for a group of people that helps to avoid chaos and turmoil; but it’s not the answer. Wilde seems to be celebrating disobedience and rebellion as the fuel for progress, but I say that left to our own devices, our disobedience and rebellion would doom us.

May I suggest that progress has been had by the hand of God? In spite of our rebellion, in spite of our disobedience throughout history, God has always provided a way of restoration. He seems to be saying to us that no matter how awful we behave, and we can make things pretty ugly at times, He will always love us. It’s that undeserved grace that allows things to progress.

Now before you start abusing that grace as license to rebel and disobey, really think about it. If you fully understand in your heart the lengths God has gone to restoring the relationship that He desires to have with you, would you abuse that love? Maybe a better response would be to try and reciprocate it. Try to love Him and others the best you knew how. And if that happened, how many laws would you need to live by anyway?

Today I pray for progress in your life. May you become aware of it’s abundance around you, and embrace it fully.


Peace……

2 Comments:

At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Chris Powell said...

I would have to agree but also disagree. I can see how he would say that through disobedience, progress has been made. Seems to me that man has always tried to explain and control everything he comes in contact with. Even control his own future back "in the garden" when everything was perfect.

Through this need for control and knowledge, we have created laws, rules, and expectations, both socially and religiously. I think we have lost sight (and always will, because it's so easy to get distracted!) of truth in our lives and we fall into the traps of "following the rules", and "living up to others expectations." So, how do we get back to the truth... how do we find a "new" path?

Disobedience. I don't mean to imply total disobedience to any system, or even random disobedience. But the best example I have is the disobedience Christ exhibited. He was not disobedient to the spirit of the law - but to the letter of the law. He continued going to the temple, telling others of God's love, but was bucking the social and religious system that wanted to prevent people from finding any other way to God (or truth in my opinion) than what THEY were comfortable with.

I hope we are all able to continue with progress in our lives. Through love, truth, and relationships, I believe this is the best possible way. When we are prevented from progressing because of close mindedness, fear, control, or expectations, I'll admit, I believe in (and participate) in disobedience. I now that I give more thought to it, I don't believe the disobedience is the means to progress, but the means for us to find the paths to progress. And thank goodness for grace.

 
At 10:40 AM, Blogger Tom said...

I agree with your comment. Perhaps Mr. Wilde doesn't factor God into his equation, but I can't equate anything apart from Him.

 

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