not my will but yours be done

God answers well-intentioned prayers in which you submit yourself to His will, but abandon what you’d really sort of prefer. It’s too bad. (But  actually sooo good. Just like it’s good to have someone else rip that old band-aid off your leg because you would just peel it off oh-so-slowly and take forever. Or to yank out that loose tooth you would otherwise just push around with your tongue.)

In Luke 22:42, did Jesus not pray, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me —nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” Yes, in the end, God’s will was done; Jesus died and was alive again! Easter Sunday marked the commemoration, in fact. His death was not pleasant in any description, but it was done.

I am glad. Saddened, but gladdened.

“the woman as the weaker vessel”

We looked at 1 Peter 3:7 in church this morning (soon to be yesterday morning – oh late nights). I would save this to blog another time, but I feel like ideas are best when fresh, just like warm bread or just-baked cookies.

7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you [1] of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

What does “weaker vessel” insinuate? That women are weaker than men? I don’t think there is any physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, or social realm in which this is absolute. While I personally don’t find the answer that women are in general physically and emotionally more vulnerable to be offensive in the slightest, and actually quite agree (for myself at the very least), I do think there could be a more agreeable answer. Agreeable being something that is more likely to be agreed upon… not necessarily pleasing to anyone.

Perhaps “weaker” is not so much a descriptor as a prescriptor. Women were created to have less authority than their husbands and to submit to their husbands. They are instructed earlier in 1 Peter 3 to have a “gentle and quiet spirit” and to be “submitting to their own husbands.” In other words, however strong of a woman you are (intellectually, spiritually, socially, emotionally, physically etc.), you are to take the position and role as the weaker vessel in the duo of husband and wife as part of God’s divinely appointed structure — and yes, hierarchy. (A very negative buzzword these days.)

I’ll stop there before I tease this idea to death, partly because I am tired, but also because I don’t think I have the final answer.

P.S. I didn’t read this entire page, but I found the headings useful as points that establish how equally God places/created/allowed men and women to be in other realms (outside husband/wife structure).

“Twitterpated” (Bambi, 1942)

Flower: [about two birds fluttering around] Well! What’s the matter with them?
Thumper: Why are they acting that way?
Friend Owl: Why, don’t you know? They’re twitterpated.
Flower, Bambi, Thumper: Twitterpated?
Friend Owl: Yes. Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime. For example: You’re walking along, minding your own business. You’re looking neither to the left, nor to the right, when all of a sudden you run smack into a pretty face. Whoo-whoo! You begin to get weak in the knees. Your head’s in a whirl. And then you feel light as a feather, and before you know it, you’re walking on air. And then you know what? You’re knocked for a loop, and you completely lose your head!
Thumper: Gosh, that’s awful.
Flower: Gee whiz.
Bambi: Terrible!
Friend Owl: And that ain’t all. It could happen to anyone, so you’d better be careful.
[points at Bambi]
Friend Owl: It could happen to you…
[points at Thumper]
Friend Owl: … or you, or even…
[Flower looks at Owl shyly]
Friend Owl: Yes, it could even happen to you!
Thumper: Well, it’s not gonna happen to me.
Bambi: Me neither.
Flower: Me neither.

Quote obtained from IMDB

Watch the clip

Haha. After this, Flower, Thumper, and Bambi go on to ‘fall in love’ in the next 5-10 minutes of footage. Spring. Life. Excitement. Good old social observation.

Anyways, to put this in context, just because a bunch of skunk, rabbit, and deer friends can all grow up and move on at the same time in a Disney movie does not mean that it is realistic to expect the same for yourself. The real world is far less neat, and strings are left untied everywhere.

I’m not just saying this regarding ‘twitterpation’. Let’s turn the topic here.

Reality can induce a resentful (hence sinful) attitude towards… life. I say life, though I actually mean God; but if you believe God is in charge of your life, then saying ‘life’ would make sense, right? We often hide God behind life anyways. This resentment towards life often relates to comparison between the self and the other, where anything that is ‘other’ is better because it’s not what you have. (Straight hair/curly hair.)

A very good blog series on envy/comparison is being put out right now on girltalk that is well worth a read. (Maybe more so than this blog.)

Recent developments in my own life (getting accepted for further schooling) have prompted me to consider and affirm more deeply that God is always good to us whatever the circumstance. I write that not as vain self-reassurance, but because doubt crept into my mind a few times, and yet I knew that this was truth. God was just as good before I applied, while I waited, and after being accepted, but would still be just as good if I did not apply or did not get accepted. Of course I can praise God ‘for getting in’ to a school, but praising God for being good can happen with any of the aforementioned scenarios. Praise is in no way related to the circumstance, for it is related first of all to the subject, God, who does not change like the “shifting shadows” of situation (James 1:17).

People in truly horrible circumstances are usually better at praising God than their ‘fortunate’ counterparts – I would say it is for lack of distraction by socially coveted ‘blessings’.

Anyways, read that blog! especially March 16 and March 17. It looks at John 21.

The Pulley (by George Herbert)

With the traffic this post gets, I’ve started to wonder whether readership is from the high school and university academic community trying to write their essays / exams on George Herbert. Well, I hope you find this analysis useful to your understanding, but it’s quite a personal take on the poem.

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/20279

When God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by,
“Let us,” said he, “pour on him all we can.
Let the world’s riches, which disperséd lie,
Contract into a span.”

So strength first made a way;
Then beauty flowed, then wisdom, honor, pleasure.
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that, alone of all his treasure,
Rest in the bottom lay.

“For if I should,” said he,
“Bestow this jewel also on my creature,
He would adore my gifts instead of me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature;
So both should losers be.

“Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness.
Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to my breast
.”

First let me add a good diagram I found:

Pulley System

Pulley System

Here’s how I can interpret this poem.

The title: a wheel and cable pulley. The more you pull towards yourself on one side, the further it goes on the other; only let go and…

What is the “Rest” that in the bottom lay? Satisfaction. If you think of rest, you only rest after finishing a piece of work, and you only finish a piece of work when you are satisfied with it. (Supposing you care about this work.)

You can work hard for anything, be it a decent paycheck, good grades, quitting a bad habit, living a good life, or even prominence in ministry. When that happens it is essentially you working – you may not have rest (i.e. be satisfied), but you can have all ‘the rest’ of God’s gifts (beauty, wisdom, honour, pleasure). We can do any number of good things, and make any amount of effort aspiring to those things, but this cannot bring us close to God (make us presentable before Him). All that we can aspire for can leave us restless for that which satisfies our souls and puts them to rest – the oxymoronic servant-king that is Christ, who in one death accomplished and finished all that we cannot do in our entire life.

The paradox of salvation in the gospel is that I must admit that no effort of mine in pulling the pulley will bring me the Rest I seek. Christ came to us; we did not merit Him by our efforts. I can pull much yet not have what I need: the grace and mercy of Christ who justifies me by dying the death I should die for my sin and rebellion from God. Rather, when I admit weariness and let go of my progress, however far the pulley has gone in my own strength, that is when I get the satisfaction I tried to work for. It’s a little bit of the puzzle.

“I am weary of not being all I expect myself to be! I cannot pull satisfaction to myself!”

For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”  – Romans 8:20-21

“… But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior…” – 2 Tim 1:8-10

[Interesting: Hebrews chapters 3 and 4 discuss “rest”; Sabbath-rest vs. God’s rest. Wonder if Herbert got the idea from here? “That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ” 3:10-11]

Romans 12:1-2 – the living sacrifices flow diagram

Flow Diagram for Romans 12:1-2: (like in Design & Tech class!)

God’s mercy –> We offer bodies as living sacrifices –> Renew mind –> No longer conformed to pattern of world –> Test and approve God’s (good, pleasing and perfect) will

Tada?

Well, it is clear that we don’t initiate, God does. But then we have to respond, continuously, like advancing levels. It is probably easier to offer your body, and to just do things you think you should. But then to offer your mind, to want and believe in and delight in those things too with purity of heart – that may be more difficult. But if we manage that, then we will no longer be chameleon in the world, and because God is un-world, when we are un-world we are more in tune with God (yo).

So I guess to summarise: give body, and mind, mind being the trickier.

lol who am I kidding body is really hard too