A New Semester of Visual Notes
2 months ago
1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
6"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.
20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Why, all the souls that were forfeit once;
And He that might he vantage best took
Found out the remedy. How would you be
If He, which is the top of judgment, should
But judge as you are? O, think on that;
And mercy then will breathe within your lips,
Like man new made. - Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. - Matthew 6:25-34
Imagine, if you will, a massive snowball at the top of a hill. At the base of the hill, there are two men standing side by side. The snowball begins to roll down the hill toward the two men, growing in size and speed. One of the men looks to the other and says, "Look at this. This kind of [thing] always happens to me. Look at it! Its headed right for me. Just watch. I'm telling you." The other man looks at the looming threat, looks back at the other man and then steps out of the snowball's path. The first man gets clobbered and his theory is proven correct. The second man goes skiing.
The moral of this simple story is that if you expect the worst to happen, it will. At all times, even in the most dire situations, you have a choice. You can focus on that which is wrong or that which is right. You can appreciate the beauty in people or you can look for their flaws. The assumptions you make about your won life often become true for you, and the assumptions you make about others can ruin relationships.
A negative mind-set goes way beyond your immediate perception of a given situation. Your attitude is perceptible to others. People notice if you are critical, cynical and angry at the world. It makes people pull away from you, it lessons your chances of promotion or advancement in the workplace, and it makes you a lousy date. And as you find yourself feeling rejected, overlooked and denied, you sink even further into your black hole of isolation and resentment, and the situation worsens. This ridiculous cycle would be laughable if it weren't so destructive to so many lives.
Obviously life is never all sunshine and puppies, and nobody wants to be around a psychotically optimistic cheerleader, but a positive outlook and open mind have far more benefits than the obvious. Achieving a positive outlook is a matter of choice. Do not focus on the misery of being overweight - think about how good it will feel to be sexy, fit and strong. Do not wallow in the misery of your job - focus on your options and begin to visualize where you would like to be. The idea is to focus on what you want, and you will begin to move toward it. If you focus on the negative situation that is making you unhappy, you will stay there. Whether its debt, loneliness or boredom, think about what you want to replace it with and hold onto that picture like a randy pitbull with a new chew toy.
Bear in mind, though, that there is no job, no lover and no financial status that will bring you happiness. True, these things may increase your enjoyment of life and relieve stress, but you cannot spend your life waiting to be rescued by any one of them. You should always have goals, but living your life with some distantly imagined finish line is a sad way to go. Your life is happening now. It may change in the future, but that doesn't mean that today doesn't count. Just because you are digging your way out of debt, that doesn't mean you can't go for a hike in the sunshine. Carrying a few extra pounds doesn't mean you can't find someone to love, and there are few situations in life that are truly inescapable.
One thing that is certain is that if you feel sorry for yourself, assume that you are powerless or decide that a situation is hopeless, there can only be one outcome. You will be sorry, powerless and hopeless. Any sports psychologist will tell you that if you constantly indulge in defeatist thinking, you will surely be defeated. You may have great challenges or obstacles in your path, but if you know what you truly want and are prepared to make it happen, there is nothing that you cannot achieve in one form or another. It all comes down to the little choices you make on a daily basis.
- Michael Flocker, The Metrosexual Guide to Style
If you are really a product of a materialistic universe, how is it that you don’t feel at home there?… Our lifelong nostalgia, our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off, to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside, is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation…. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for something else of which they are only a kind of a copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same. – C.S. Lewis
The next time you feel like complaining, remember that your garbage disposal probably eats better than thirty percent of the people in this world. - Bob Orben
Dave, interesting post. You know, I'd be interested in finding out what standards you are actually looking for a in a girl.
I blog for an online web magazine, which recently featured two articles concerning what makes up a quality woman and a quality man. In my blog, I followed up with some advice of my own for men interested in quality dating.
So, as one of the many females striving to be women of quality in hopes that we'll one day deserve the love of a man with the same goals, I have to tell you that we women are dying to know if we're getting it right or not.
Consider it, why don'cha, then let me know if you do write more about this sort of thing, and I'll link to you. In fact, I think I'm going to link to you anyway.
Yet I am more in favour of a different conjecture, namely, that something was taken from Adam, in order that he might embrace, with greater benevolence, a part of himself. He lost, therefore, one of his ribs; but, instead of it, a far richer reward was granted him, since he obtained a faithful associate of life; for he now saw himself, who had before been imperfect, rendered complete in his wife. And in this we see a true resemblance of our union with the Son of God; for he became weak that he might have members of his body endued with strength.
“When language is translated, not only its beauty but also much of its reality is lost. For example,” he said, “what the world calls the Olympic ‘games’ are no such thing. These events are not play. They are not sport.”
“What are they, then?” I asked him.
“I cannot tell you in English,” he said. “The Greek word for what happens at the Olympics has no English equivalent.”
In the same way, I believe, there are words in the Christian language that have no equivalent in the ‘languages’ of business, law, or psychology. When we lose [these words] we lose the hold they have on the realities that they represent. ‘Sin’ does not translate simply as rule-breaking, for instance, any more than it translates as evidence of sickness or psychosis. It is a bigger word than that, with deeper roots….[as are words like] ‘repentance’, ‘grace’, and ‘salvation’. – Barbara Brown Taylor