Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Uncle Rat and the Doctor (but not related to each other)

Don't forget to check out "Time And Relative Demension In Space"

Oh my gosh – I almost forgot that there were people out there who were nerdy!  I don't know how it happened, but I was reading through all the latest entries on the blogs I follow, and suddenly I was reading quotes from "Dr. Who" and "The Big Bang Theory" and I read about loving to be artsy and academic, and obsessions over books!  Of course, I know you can like any or all of these things and not consider yourself nerdy, but I'm not talking about you then!

It's not that I haven't found any friends here – I have, and I am so fond of them all.  But none of them are into SciFi like I am, and none of them are as obsessed about anything as I tend to be – and as people I follow tend to be.  Now, I understand that we all tend to be a little more passionate online than we act in person, but even so, we do have our passions.  The fact that I can't totally freak out about Dr. Who with someone tends to blur that side of life after awhile.  Which is actually a very health quality in life!

Even so!  Do you realize how long it is since I've seen a Dr. Who episode?!?!  Probably two weeks!  And it doesn't even bother me that I'm not watching the new season.  I decided, somewhere along the line, that I wasn't going to go to great lengths to try to see it – I just didn't have many options.  And for quite some time now, I haven't even thought about it!  Now, as I go through posts about the show, I want to watch it!!!  Yes, I can wait until it's available on Netflix, but what fun is that?  That means I have to be sensible and patient, and so not obsessive beyond control.  And what kind of fan wants to have self-control?

Well, anyway, I do have a topic for today's post.  Actually, I have several.  But let's take them one at a time because they are long.

1 It is for you, then, to preach the behaviour which goes with healthy doctrine.
2 Older men should be reserved, dignified, moderate, sound in faith and love and perseverance.
3 Similarly, older women should behave as befits religious people, with no scandal-mongering and no addiction to wine -- they must be the teachers of right behaviour
4 and show younger women how they should love their husbands and love their children,
5 how they must be sensible and chaste, and how to work in their homes, and be gentle, and obey their husbands, so that the message of God is not disgraced.
6 Similarly, urge younger men to be moderate in everything that they do,
7 and you yourself set an example of good works, by sincerity and earnestness, when you are teaching, and by a message sound and irreproachable
8 so that any opponent will be at a loss, with no accusation to make against us.
11 You see, God's grace has been revealed to save the whole human race;
12 it has taught us that we should give up everything contrary to true religion and all our worldly passions; we must be self-restrained and live upright and religious lives in this present world,
13 waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Christ Jesus.
14 He offered himself for us in order to ransom us from all our faults and to purify a people to be his very own and eager to do good. 
– Titus 2:1-8, 11-14

7 'Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, "Come and have your meal at once"?
8 Would he not be more likely to say, "Get my supper ready; fasten your belt and wait on me while I eat and drink. You yourself can eat and drink afterwards"?
9 Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told?
10 So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, "We are useless servants: we have done no more than our duty." '
– Luke 17:7-10 

Those are the daily readings from Tuesday.  They really hit home in my heart – more than usual, for some reason.  The first talks about the honorable behavior the mature man and woman should have in God.  Whether you, reader, are a Christian or not, it seems like a good goal to have. 

"Similarly, older women should behave as befits religious people, with no scandal-mongering and no addiction to wine -- they must be the teachers of right behavior and show younger women how they should love their husbands and love their children, how they must be sensible and chaste, and how to work in their homes, and be gentle, and obey their husbands, so that the message of God is not disgraced."  "Obey their husbands" may be hard for some to hear, but is it really so hard?  You grew up listening to your parents and teachers.  Women don't have to look up to their husbands as superior, but if they make a decision, wives should not contest it.  Wives are supposed to support their husbands.  Isn't that what a woman in love wants to do, anyway?  I don't know – perhaps not.  But that's what great women in books and movies do.  Most men these days don't order women around anyway, as was their use in the first century AD.  If you marry a good man, you shouldn't feel obligated to fight your husband.  So I don't think it sounds that scary.

Beyond that, this description describes what really seems to me to be a good and honorable woman.  The kind of person that people respect and love and look up to.  Same for men, although the description isn't, perhaps, as intricate.  But all of the Bible describes how upright and righteous men should be in any case.

And I like the reading from the Gospel because it shows a different side of the coin than many usually consider.  When we do as God wills, we shouldn't expect to receive anything in return.  Indeed, you may even say that we oughtn't to expect an answer to our prayers and worship, because prayer and worship is due Him.  It's our duty, not our gift to Him (although it is, in another sense).  At the end of the day, when we've followed all of God's commandments, we deserve no praise, because it was our duty.  As a servant would receive no praise for clearing table, as an employee would not be unduly compensated for doing what he was paid to do, as a child is not rewarded with great gifts for keeping his room clean, so too are we bound in duty to do exactly as He says.  Of course, servants do receive thanks, employees often do get special relief or praise here and there, and children do raise an allowance or get a reward if it is a disciplinary tactic a parent is using, and God often uses similar methods on us, as His children.  But at the end of the day, if we did right, all we did was what we ought to have always done.

Now I don't know if that sounds really preachy – I'm sorry if it does!  But I was sort of struck by that.  Fools, we are.  Many Christians say "God is so great!  Let us praise Him!"  Well, ultimately, even if He hadn't saved your soul and even if He hadn't preformed miracles, you'd still owe Him praise because we are simply His lowly creation, aren't we?

Well, that's a really depressing way to look at things, to keep pressing that we are servants of God.  But it's the truth.  I mean, one of the great mysteries of God is that He is everything at once – He is Master, He is Father, He is Brother, He is Friend, He is Savior, He is Doctor, He is Lover.  And because He is all these things, we can be all slave/servant, son/daughter, brother/sister, friend, debtor, patient, and lover.  That's really cool, isn't it?!

Well, anyway, I really loved that.  I love how God is still and everywhere, even when I'm changing.  Thank God the world doesn't fluctuate with me!  But that's a simple reality that is helpful to realize – the laws of the universe don't ride up and down on roller-coasters with our emotional and physical troubles.  It all still follows the same rules today as it did yesterday and it will tomorrow.  Every day is another day God has given me to sort out my issues before He calls me home.  And life is so beautiful, isn't it?  Still, there is nothing "that I would more willingly part withal".  If only I could leave this drudgery for the glories of eternal communion with creation – but theologians and philosophers say that this is where we gain our strength: when we are no longer afraid to die, no longer afraid to live.

By the way, I lost my Evenstar necklace!  If you could pray to St. Anthony for me that would be great.


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