Thursday, December 17, 2009

"...To Cast Their Best Upon Thy Fire"

"What makes thy being a bliss shall then make mine
For I shall love as thou, and love in thee;
Then shall I have whatever I desire,
My every faintest wish being all divine;
Power thou wilt give me to work mightily,
Even as my Lord, leading thy low men nigher,
with dance and song to cast their best upon thy fire."
--Diary of An Old Soul, December, Stanza 10, by George MacDonald

George MacDonald (1824-1905) was a Scottish preacher and writer of more than 52 volumes of fantasy, poetry and other works exploring Christian faith. Instrumental in the conversion of C.S. Lewis, MacDonald has become widely known and revered for his depth of insight and practice regarding what it means to live freely from your heart, and the joy and love that spring from an intentional daily intimacy with God. Late in his life he ran in some noteworthy literary circles: Mark Twain, Lewis Carol, and Ralph Waldo Emerson all counted him as friends. G.K. Chesterton once cited MacDonald as one of the three or four greatest men of the 19th Century.

And yet, MacDonald experienced failure after failure throughout most of his life. He suffered from tuberculosis, suffered the loss of his wife and four of his children, was widely rejected as an author until his final decades, and as a result, lived in  poverty most of his days.

The life of the truly free does not always look the way we expect it should. As Jesus said, "A man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions" (Luke 12:15). To set you free, Freedom will intentionally offend your ego, time and again, to sever you from the chains of such a false presumption.

What if the thing you're struggling against is actually the door to Freedom?


Alex said...

That is awesome! I have come to the conclusion that the significant and fulfilling life that God has for me may not be exactly what other would call such. And, the path to it will most certainly involve some painful bits. I wrote this in my journal a couple of days ago... God's shortcuts are through the briar patch. I want to have the courage to take the painful path when it presents itself.

Michael D. Warden said...

"I want to have the courage to take the painful path when it presents itself"...

love that, Alex. Thanks.