|Our friends warmly welcomed the entire church to their house.|
After I wrote about the idea of faithfulness being radical, a dear friend sent me a link to the 1856 writing of Timothy Shay Arthur. His piece was so well stated that I wanted to share some excepts with you.
He points out that we tend feel there is an incompatibility between higher spiritual duties and lower "temporal" duties-- as if the daily things we must do are divorced somehow from the eternal.
But he encourages us that we have been sovereignly planted amidst these cares and that they are the very materials necessary for our growth.
|Sweet signs of fall- and cooler weather made for a great visit.|
Timothy Shay Arthur, 1856
"The idea is very general, that the ordinary duties of life are not favorable to the highest developments of character; and we often hear it said, how much we might learn, and how much good we might do — if we only had the leisure time.
People think that all our time is wasted in supplying the ever-recurring needs of the body; those base physical needs — eating and drinking and clothing. We accomplish nothing. It is like pouring water into the sand.
|Judah- always contented if he's with Mama.|
The round of yesterday is the round of today, and will be the round of tomorrow. And thus life passes; and, when the month or the year has completed its circle, we are just where we commenced; we have nothing to show for all our toil and care.
Who has not felt so? and who has not, at some time, envied those who seem to have the leisure time to cultivate their minds — to help forward plans of public and general interest? Who has not wished that they could be Howards, or Frys — that they might devote their lives to the welfare of their fellows?
|Cousin friends. Mercy- you are a kook and we love you!|
And then again, there is a deep-seated feeling that the time, strength, and thought we devote to these temporal things is so much abstracted from the spiritual and eternal; and thus there is a perpetual conflict between what we must do or starve — and what we think we ought to do; or, in common phrase, between the world and God.
The consequence is, we perform the greater part of our duties as slaves; these duties are task-work imposed upon us by the hardest of task-masters, necessity.
And, what is still worse, we divest ourselves of the very strength which we need; we put off our heavenly armor, throw away our weapons of heavenly temper, and descend naked and nerveless into the conflict with base cares, strong necessities, physical needs and desires.
|Going to the Stapletons? Sarah made sure to grab her new hat!|
This feeling of incompatibility between higher and lower duties, has no doubt led thousands to leave the common duties of life, and give themselves up to seclusion, to contemplation, and prayer. But all these mistakes are founded in false notions of religion, of the real nature of natural duties, and the designs of Infinite Wisdom in making them necessities.
We are planted amidst these cares, as the seed is planted in the ground; and for the same reason, that we may come in contact with, and gain access to, the very materials necessary for our growth. These cares, these common duties and employments, are the very stuff out of which the web of life is woven; and the analogy between the growth of the seed and our own development is most perfect.
Our life is rooted in natural things; not to lie dead and buried beneath them, but to grow up out of them, and to be rendered stable and abiding by them. The seed cannot grow, unless it is planted; it will dry up or decay; neither can goodness, unless it matures into act.
One may weep over fictitious woes, and indulge in idle fancies of what he would do, if he were not bound down to the earth by burdens and cares. But there is no goodness in such thoughts and visions; they never bear any fruit.
|And her little brother, Christopher.|
I acknowledge that we often enslave ourselves unnecessarily. Vanity, and avarice, and pride, and ambition, and envy impose burdens upon us, and make slaves of us. They rob us of our strength, our time, and our golden opportunities. But, after making all due allowances for these, the principle remains the same.
|Big boy, Cameron.|
If the Creator, in his wisdom, had seen fit, He might have so formed us that we should need no clothing, and no food, and no habitation.
But, in his wisdom, He has so formed us, and placed us in such circumstances, that we need all of these; and our highest duties, and noblest life, grow out of these very necessities.
|Michaela bonding with Woman.|
They were made conditions of our being, that they might become the instruments of a higher life.
There is nothing in them incompatible with the highest culture, and the loftiest attainments in spiritual life.
|Hailey pretty much wanted to hold this white chick all day.|
Every natural use is designed to be the basis of a spiritual use which is to be rooted in it, and grow out of it.
And the highest wisdom consists in changing these natural things into spiritual; in making our common duties, our every-day employments, those which grow out of the needs of the body, the life of the family, the church, and society, of friendship, and the relations of the individual to communities, and nations — the embodiment of heavenly affections.
|Happy Birthday Morgan! You are such a delight!|
We must anoint them with the precious ointment of unselfish love. That will preserve them from decay, inaugurate them into new life, and give to that which is as fleeting as shadows, and which seems born only for the present — something of permanence and immortality."
|Cute Sandi toting a twin!|
In our day, as in Arthurs, daily toil can threaten to weary us. But as we respond in love and faithfulness, these temporal things become things of permanence.
Speaking of being planted amidst cares- our truck wouldn't start when we were leaving to go visit our friends! It is good to know that all things work together for our good and His glory, isn't it?