Thursday, March 23, 2006

Outlandish Teachings

There is no end to the new methods offered for success, self-realization, fulfillment, understanding, and happiness. Seminars, conferences, and workshops abound. Go to so-and-so, get counseling, a new exercise program, a new diet, another degree, job, husband, house, color scheme. If it's new, it's good.

Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. "Do not be swept off your course by all sorts of outlandish teachings; it is good that our souls should gain their strength from the grace of God" (Heb 13:8,9 NEB).

Fixity of heart is a rare thing and probably always has been. It is easier to follow after the world in its futile pursuit of happiness, simply because we are like sheep and we go astray. To stay quietly by the Shepherd seems harder, but in the end we find there (and nowhere else) our soul's real strength.

Pascal wrote, "I have discovered that all the unhappiness of man arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber." Try spending a half hour in a room alone, without music, without television, without even reading. Can you find any peace or happiness there? If not, perhaps you have not begun to learn what is truly important.

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