Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday morsel: the meaning of life

I read this quotation from Paul Tournier several years ago in Brian MacLaren's A New Kind of Christian and it has meant a great deal to me since.  I love it because of the unique way it depicts obedience:  as discovering and being who and what we are meant to be.



 The meaning of life, its total meaning, which imparts to it its unity despite the diversity of its various stages, is obedience to God. In growing up and developing, the child is obeying God, who gave him life and its wonderful power of growth.  In making his choices, the adolescent is obeying God, who granted him the liberty to choose and the responsibility of choice.  In throwing himself passionately into all his creative adventures, the adult is obeying God, who has made him in His own image.  And in detaching himself from particular things and ephemeral actions, and attaching himself instead to transcendent values, in accepting his human condition, necessarily fragile, temporary, limited, and incomplete, the aged person is still obeying God, who made men "strangers and exiles on the earth."
 

4 comments:

  1. This reminds me of C.S. Lewis saying that animals doing what animals do is a type of obedience to God as well.

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    1. That's a good point. We humans tend to fight our calling more than animals do, though: I don't think my little mini-Schnauzer "nieces" shake their paws at the sky and say "Why couldn't you have made me a German Shepherd?" :-)

      I love the phrase "throwing [ourselves] passionately into all [our] creative adventures." He doesn't say "In making a living, the adult is obeying God" or "In having a satisfying job" or "In marrying and raising a family" -- but in being joyful creators. That's food for thought!

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  2. Very interesting, Jeannie. I have not read this before, but I like it and it resonates with my own experience. At the risk of being a bit self-promoting, it also reminds me of a post I wrote relating the Old Testament history to the development of a child into adulthood. Here's a like if you're interested http://connectingdotstogod.com/2012/07/15/childhood-adolescence-adulthood-and-a-mid-life-crisis-a-guide-to-reading-the-bible/

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    1. Not self-promoting at all, Judy; I'm glad you mentioned it. I'm bookmarking it to read later today -- it sounds very interesting and directly related. Thanks for stopping by today.

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