A Globe On the Floor (A Christmas Reflection)
a big choice

the very narrow way

DSC04488I cannot begin to understand (nor do I want to) the circumstances in which Dietrich Bonhoeffer penned these words, but I find them worthy of contemplation as I embark on and "live" this New Year. 

"We used to think that one of the inalienable rights of man was that he should be able to plan both his professional and his private life.  That is a thing of the past.  The force of circumstances has brought us into a situation where we have to give up being "anxious about tomorrow" (Matt. 6:34).  But it makes all the difference whether we accept this willingly and in faith (as the Sermon on the Mount intends), or under continual constraint.  For most people, the compulsory abandonment of planning for the future means that they are forced back into living just for the moment, irresponsibly, frivolously, or resignedly; some few dream longingly of better times to come, and try to forget the present.  We find both these courses equally impossible, and there remains for us only the very narrow way, often extremely difficult to find, of living every day as if it were our last, and yet living in faith and responsibility as though there were to be a great future:  "Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land" proclaims Jeremiah (32:15), in paradoxical contrast to his prophecies of woe, just before the destruction of the holy city.  It is a sign from God and a pledge of a fresh start and a great future, just when all seems black.  Thinking and acting for the sake of the coming generation, but being ready to go any day without fear or anxiety--that, in practice, is the spirit in which we are forced to live.  It is not easy to be brave and keep that spirit alive, but it is imperative."


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