Monday, June 8, 2015

the falcon and the falconer – part 2

The Word for today:
Judges 10:6 - 11:28
Yesterday,  we introduced the cyclical pattern of Judges, known as the "Hoop of History."  Today, we'll attempt to climb off the carousel.
We should not make the mistake of reading Judges objectively, as if it were about somebody else long ago. When we do, we deprive ourselves of the visceral distress that the Hoop of History is supposed to induce in us.
Instead, Judges should be read subjectively. We should feel as if we are riding round and round, down and down, like the dishwater emptying from the sink into the septic tank, accompanied by that giant sucking sound.
Judges describes us on many levels. It describes our national pattern and it describes the pattern of our individual lives.
Man’s natural tendency is centrifugal, away from God:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned. (1)
But the tendencies of those born again through faith in Jesus Christ have been hijacked by the Spirit of God. The inclination of the Spirit is ever nearer to God, so in order to to break the cycle of descent, all you've got to do is pursue your brand-new heart's desire.
When I was a kid, they had a rotating saucer in the park across from the school.  I called it the Puke-a-Tron because every time I got on it, I got sick.  And embarrassed. Whenever I’d climb back on it, all the kids would gather round just to watch me get sick again.
But I was determined to show ‘em that I could overcome my limitations. I was determined to keep riding it until I could ride without distress. So I fought the Puke-a- Tron all summer long, but the Puke-a-Tron always won.
Finally, in my defeat and despair, I asked my Dad what I should do.
“Do you like riding the thing?”
“No, I hate it.”
“Then just do something different when you’re at the park. Get off the Puke-a-Tron and never get back on it,” he said.
That’s how simple it will seem on the day you stop riding the dead horse of the old carousel. You won’t feel particularly spiritual or pious or holy or sanctified or anything like that. You will just listen to your Father and stop doing the stuff that you actually can’t stomach anymore. You won’t feel the need to prove anything to anybody. Your gaze will turn inward, Godward, and He will become your soul’s satisfaction. The voice of God’s Spirit within you will be the only voice that you heed.
(1) from “The Second Coming,” by William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

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