Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Man of Twilight

"I can live out of my imagination instead of my memory." - Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

I have been thinking a lot of the past lately, especially of how I act in day to day life. I seem to be caught with two models, neither particularly helpful: one the somewhat overly silly and perhaps a bit over the top guy (because that's how you got attention), the other one the serious fellow who took to heart a manager's comment that one needed to "act" like management if one wanted to be management. In both cases, these behaviors are seemingly driven by people and circumstances long gone - a sort of "Night of the Living Dead Behaviors".

This comes up in the context of being in New Home, where literally no-one knew me when I arrived. On the one hand I am relishing the freedom of being able to create my own image; on the other hand, I'm alarmed that the image seems to be drawn from two wells, neither of which may be particularly useful or even healthy at this point.

And then this morning, I read Stephen Covey's quote. Or to move it over to the Christian realm, I can live in Christ instead of out of memory.

Somewhere buried in here is a third fellow, neither totally over the top nor totally serious, the man that wanders in the twilight of my imagination. He occasionally comes out, but often seems to take a back seat to those other two. Who is he? He largely seems tied up with living a Christian life but not on the terms of the world, being forced into the mold of what a "Christian" should act like (that thought is a concept rich for meditation). He is that hearkening back to an older, nobler, more honorable sort, the compilation of those that I read of and loved (and still do): John Carter, Walter Scott's heroes, The Forty Seven Ronin, Knighthood in general, the Irish Heroes, Tolkien's Elves, more recently John Galt and Hank Rearden and Francisco D'Anconia. The funny thing is, I thought that I could not bridge the gap between what they represented and the world that now exists and I live in. What a surprise to realize that the boundary is self imposed; "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". (Philippians 4:13) I can be who God calls me to be, that third man on the borders of my mind, instead of what is imposed on others -or indeed, what I impose on myself.

The world needs examples of Christians who are reflecting Christ uniquely, as He designed them. As M. Scott Peck put it (my paraphrase), we are all lanterns uniquely shining God's light. We didn't start the light nor can we maintain it (that is God's doing); all we need do is shine, and in our shining some unique aspect of God or His dealings with the universe will be revealed which could be revealed by no-one else.

Being a unique light bearer of Christ, defined by Him and His creation of me. What could be more desirable than that?

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