Posts Tagged ‘rose’

Fifth Dimension

April 11, 2016

If you are looking for a better way of life–a city, perhaps, or a country, in which plenty of good stuff replaces the deficiencies and poverties of this present arrangement. . . if you are thinking, perhaps wishing, for a nation or kingdom in which justice prevails instead of corruption and all is well instead of screwed-up, the only way you can find such a ridiculous thing as that is to first believe that it does exist somewhere.

Or believe that it can exist.

Now if you can believe that, if you already do believe it, then your mind, your soul, is operating in a realm that is beyond the world that we know and live in and walk around in every day.

Take a look at the device on which you are presently reading this message. Over on the right side of your electronic view is a vertical line; it is the edge of the screen. At the top of that line is a pixel, or point, positioned in the upper right corner of your screen. From that point, look downward along that straight line until your attention is placed directly on the point at the very bottom corner of the screen.

Now your mind has conceived a straight, vertical line. It represents one dimension of your view, that dimension being what we shall define as “height.”

From that point at which your mind arrived at the right-lower corner of your screen, train your eye along the bottom edge, so you are viewing a straight, horizontal line extended between that corner and the one on the bottom-left. Now that you have conceived that horizontal line, you have arrived at the idea of a third dimension, which we shall define as “width.”

Now imagine.

Imagine–as you ponder that pixel-point in the left-lower corner of your screen–imagine another line, beginning at that point and extending through airspace directly to your left eye. Now you have conceived the idea of a third dimension, which we shall define as “depth.”

Next, consider that from your original starting-point–which began from the top-right and then went from there to the lower-right and then over to the lower left and then directly from the screen to your eye–consider that it took a little while for your eye to perform all that viewing. Now your mind has arrived at an idea of a fourth dimension, which we shall define as “time.”

Now consider this:

There is a whole universe out there, far beyond the confines of that line on the right side of your device, far beyond the bottom edge of your screen, and extending far, far beyond the distance from your screen to your eye. Furthermore, this universe has existed for a much longer time than you can conceive or imagine. Within this universe you can find some quite amazing developments. Take, for instance, this:

Rose

Now if you can plant a seed from which such a wonder as this can be brought into existence–far surpassing, in its complexity and beauty, the simplicity of these straight lines you just pondered,  and far surpassing our simple concepts of height, width, depth and time by which we thought rationally about these phenomena, and if you can understand that this rose will grow and bloom, and if you can appreciate that people who pass by may marvel at its beauty, and they will wonder how such a beautiful thing could arise from the mere dirt of this earth.

If you suppose that just maybe this did not just happen through the natural processes of this physical world, but rather that  there is– preceding it all and activating all–there  is a sentient creator who conceived it all and then caused it all to happen and then allowed you to enter into it and be astounded at the beauty and wonder of it all, and if you can believe that you yourself can enter into this creative vortex by the power of God and participate in that creation. . .

. . . then you have entered into the realm of the fifth dimension, which we shall define as “faith.”

Welcome to the kingdom of God.

Glass half-Full

Trading a rose for a smile

March 17, 2012

It is amazing what I learned last night at a children’s play.

A revised presentation of the the classic Snow White tale was the setting. The blooming adolescents and children of Crossway church were the players.

In the story, an obsessively vain queen is hung up with jealousy as she compares her beauty to that of another woman. The young Snow White, object of the evil queen’s discontent, becomes a target of the wicked queen’s deadly schemes.

While the queen strives to reign over her subjects with harsh oppression, her unwittingly innocent nemesis finds abundant favor among the people, without even trying. Snow’s goodness outshines the queen’s ill-intent all over the place, especially in the village.

You understand the “village” in literary speak, don’t you? In this morality play, the village is like, the world in general, like, you know, the one we live in. And in this world we’ve got evil queens; we’ve got nefarious kings. And we’ve got Snow White types of good people. And then we’ve got, like, everything in between those two extremes, in adolescent-speak.

In this world we’ve got Hitlers and Bashar al-Assads; but we’ve also got George Washingtons and Vaclav Havels.

Well I’m here to tell you that the good gals and guys win in the end; that’s what this Christian thing is all about. Read the book and find out about it.

Anyway, here I am telling you what I really learned in this drama presented by a bunch of kids, with a little help from their parents of course.

The lesson took me by surprise. Snow White had just met a young prince–“the” young prince in the story. They were in the, as it were, marketplace, in the village–the main street, high street, the mall, whatever.  The young man is enamored of her beauty, of course–that’s a classic component of the story–the girl’s beauty; but even more importantly, especially in the context of this Christianized revision of the tale, Snow’s goodness, her godly character, is the shining attribute of her persona.

What the young prince does at that moment is the lesson. He trades a rose for a smile.

He hands a rose to Snow White; then she smiles. And that smile, on her loving, womanly face, becomes his inspiration and motivation from that moment onward.

And I realized, as I sat in the audience and watched the prince “trade a rose for a smile,” that I have spent the last 32 years of my life trading the the thorny, withering blooms of this life for my wife’s smile.

I have spent most of my adult life, and thankfully more than half of my entire life, loving one woman, and gathering joy abundantly just by making her happy. Just by seeing her smile. Her joy is what makes my life complete, and her well-being is what makes my life work. Furthermore, she feels the same about me. She is all about love. That’s what I detected in her smile. I caught a glimpse of that love that nurtures and prospers all that she sets her hands to, that love that birthed and raised our three children, that love that promotes excellence in her nursing professionalism, that love that fills every nook and cranny of our life together.

True love is the most powerful connection in this life.  Like the young prince in the story, I traded a rose for her smile over three decades ago; life has been so much better than it otherwise would have been because we made that commitment.

She gave me beauty for the ashes of my own self-effort; she gave me oil of joy for the mourning of this world’s reprobate condition; and she gave me a garment of praise that outshines the darkness of my self-importance.

Thank God.