Tuesday, 1 March 2011

On Remaining Where God Has Placed You


"It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule."

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King.

It is a much neglected piece of wisdom that we do well to trust God by remaining where he has placed us in life and attending to the various vocations he has called us into in that place, "uprooting the evil in the fields that we know". However, ours is a restless generation in love with the idea of endless possibility, and therefore not in a position to properly receive this counsel. But the older, and, I hope, the wiser I become, the more this counsel seems necessary - both for our benefit and for the benefit of those who come after us. Not that change in location, vocation and/or station should never be sought, but it should be undertaken cautiously, with an ear attuned for God's word on the matter. He, after all, has both the first and the last say on such things.

4 comments:

Erika said...

It is disturbing to hear the constant cry that we (and especially the young ones) can be and do anything,and can make dreams come true by simply believing in ourselves. I am a feminist (old school, now) but remember when my girls were in primary school the corridors were plastered with posters proclaiming "Girls can Do Anything". So meaningless and so far from real encouragement to learn and do well and to gradually discover one's real inerests and strengths. The notion of endless possibility is deeply unsettling, I think. All power seems to be vested in the self and that can be a terrible burden.

That's a lovely and comforting quote from Tolkien and a good reminder to faithfully attend to our vocations.

Greatly appreciated your "William Weedon on the Fathers" and very pleased to read "Sasse on Ecstatic Religious Expression". Your posts shed light on many areas and expand on bits that I know about. Thank you.

Pr Mark Henderson said...

I've seen those posters too, Erica. I suppose it's an over-compensation for the times when girls could unfortunately do very little. But, yes, very misleading and even dangerous; sooner or later the younger generation will come up against cold, hard reality, and then they will feel cheated.

Thanks for your comments Erika - good to know you're still reading the blog. I learn a lot too just by putting my thoughts into words.

John said...

Please find three related references which point out that the entire Western "cultural" project (including all of its religion) is about power and control.

www.aboutadidam.org/readings/bridge_to_god/index.html

www.dabase.org/spacetim.htm

www.beezone.com/AdiDa/jesusandme.html

Pr Mark Henderson said...

Hi John, welcome back.
I checked out your references, and the ones you left last time. I find it ironic that you departed the Christian faith, which you claim is about "control", in order to follow a human being who claimed that the only path to enlightenment was by devotional worship of his person. Now that's controlling! I pray you will be set free from these delusions and be led to re-discover Jesus, who is not about "control" but love.