Monday, February 15, 2010

Books of Sacred Doctrine

"If your heart were right, then every created thing would be a mirror of life, and a book of sacred doctrine. There is no creature so small and worthless that it does not show forth the goodness of God." Thomas Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

Life is a textbook about God.

No one's life is like another's. Every person who has ever lived has a unique life story to tell. We each have unique perspectives of God that we have gathered from uniquely different sets of life experiences. Our individual stories could one day, perhaps, be compiled into one gigantic book. One chapter, my story. Another chapter, yours.

Many of my own "books of sacred doctrine" have come from my experiences a family practice doctor, insights I have compiled mentally for twenty-some years now. Countless "mirrors of life" I can no longer keep to myself.

Books and mirrors come and go. Quietly. Not screaming for our attention. I shudder to think how many I've let go by without so much as a grunt. I am getting better at noticing the God-lessons in the everyday, but surely I still miss things. Precious poignancies, missed for lack of attention.

Maybe it is "the everyday" that is the problem. We tend to brush off the common. Hang a priceless painting on your wall today and you'll notice it every time you walk by it. For awhile. Walk by the same painting years from now, however, and you hardly give it a thought. A priceless painting has become common, our regard for it... blunted by daily exposure. They say that familiarity breeds contempt. I say it breeds indifference.

A brisk knee reflex eventually fatigues if you keep tapping it with a reflex hammer. We have hyporeflexia. We have lost our ability to react to the stimuli of God.

This journal is my own attempt in noticing... in acknowledging that familiarity has blunted my ability to recognize that God has passed through here. Oh to regain my once-brisk reflexes to God's tappings! To recover my appreciation of priceless paintings...


Paula S said...

what a great post....yes. so true.

James Carl said...

a prayer that this tragedy in Haiti will never breed indifference but stay fresh in our minds and hearts.

Marty Juziuk said...

I was directed to your blog by my friend and dentist Jack Heck, who works yearly at the WISH clinic on Isle de La Gonave. Thank you for your insights and continued blog, it helps to "put us there" and not forget the Haitiens.

Anonymous said...

Steve--Thank you for gently reminding us to continue thinking about and praying for the people of Haiti. You and your family will be in my thoughts & prayers as you return there. You and your blog have been a blessing...

Lisa D.