What is the best thing in the world? To please its Creator. What is His will? To fulfill what He commanded, that is, to live rightly and dutifully to seek the Eternal; for duty and justice are the will of Him Who is dutiful and right. How do we reach this goal? By application. Then we must apply ourselves in duty and justice. What helps to maintain this practice? Understanding...
- Columbanus, Sermon III (Irish, 7th century)
I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity in man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
- Ecclesiastes 3.10, 11
Solomon's observation might be taken as meaning, since we can't know as God knows, we shouldn't bother with trying to know at all. This is the exact opposite of what He intends. God has filled the world with things beautiful, and we can know them. We can learn and grow and gain insight into things beautiful, good, and true. Of course, we can't know them as completely or truly as God does, but we can know them nonetheless.
Columbanus reminds us that understanding all things related to human duty and justice is the key to being able to apply truth to life in a way that pleases God. Understanding does not come apart from diligent effort trying to understand. This "difficult task" (Eccl. 1.13) is what God has given us "to be busy with." Celtic Christians understood this well.
Perhaps understanding beauty, goodness, and truth is not high on your list of priorities. Some may regard these as important notions, but they just haven't managed to give much time or attention to understanding them. How shall we ever live beautiful, good, and true lives if we refuse to apply ourselves to such learning?
Or maybe we don't care whether our lives are beautiful, good, or true? Perhaps good times and good things are higher on our agenda? If so, let's at least admit it. Let's admit that we prefer our intellectual and cultural pursuits to be frivolous, fleeting, but fun, rather than beautiful, good, true - and lasting.
Then we might consider whether, as followers of the Beautiful One our King, we can really sleep well with such convictions.
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
A Fellowship of Ailbe mentoring opportunity may be just what you need to get on a more definite and consistent track for growth and ministry. If you are a pastor or church leader and are looking for some serious learning, check out these opportunities at our website. Opportunities are available in spiritual growth, preaching, evangelism, and shepherding, among others.
Today's ReVision exposes the great unchallenged assumption of our society and wonders how much longer we as Christians will abide this. Check out the new format.
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