“Obedience alone gives the right to command.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
I remember vividly one scenario where I witnessed the transformation of the citizenry and its view of presidential authority. The internship I mentioned earlier started in January of 1981. As I helped plan the National Prayer Breakfast, our small staff was given a tour of the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC.
“God's plan for your life is happening right now. It doesn't begin when you get married or when you get your dream job or when everything feels perfect. You are in the plan.” — Tara Leigh Cobble
The concept of “God’s will” was the hot topic of spiritual writers in the mid-80s. It seemed everyone had a definition of what “God’s will” meant, but few felt satisfactory.
“The ego is the false self-born out of fear and defensiveness.” — John O’Donohue
We place ourselves at the center of the universe. God removes us, and takes the spot for Himself. Such is God's order of the universe. When we understand this, we find our true state of being. Man believes that life starts at birth. God believes that life starts at death. Each day, we attempt to deny the self, the “Id” of our lives, according to Sigmund Freud.
“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.” — C.S. Lewis, "The Weight of Glory"
Philosopher Sigmund Freud described the "Id" aspect of our personalities. This fleshly being cares only for himself or herself, and is consumed with taking, seldom giving anything back.
“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.” — St. Augustine
God loves adventures.
Who of us cannot relate to Frodo, and his best friend sidekick Samwise Gamgee. Frodo, the impulsive hero, on a mission to deliver the Ring of Power, and Samwise Gamgee, who recognizes that he himself cannot be the carrier of the ring, but he can carry his friend Frodo.
So chapter after chapter in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, the steady Samwise keeps his friend Frodo on the rails, despite his frequent diversions from the path.
“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” — Ann Landers
Perfection is a prison. We start out laboring to achieve it, but end up in bondage. The perfection we seek is an illusion. But when the true perfect comes, the partial things will fade away. I have strived for perfection my whole life. I know personally how much of a prison this pursuit can become. Unfortunately, I’ve also expected the same of my wife and kids. In doing so, I inevitably set them up for failure, because perfection is an unattainable goal. Instead of doing good, this expectation ends up hurting my relationship with them. I’m grateful to the Lord that He has helped them mostly recover from my mistakes.