Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Peace, Be Still

Is there an official name for a heresy that I can only call "drivenness"? The health care reform, so-called, besides the obvious attempt to ramrod through the modernist evil of abortion, can be recognized as a huge and the latest dead horse to whip by all involved in public discourse.

Pull back farther. See that health care reform stands on the brink of a far greater reality, Mort. Death. So, a huge amount of time, energy, and (of course) money is changing hands in regards to it. Distraction from the omnivorous truth of our mortal lives takes all of the above: time, energy, and money.

One might make the case that health care reform is a last-ditch effort to avoid the nihilism to which our secular academia, governments, and politics have brought us. The air is literally filled with page after page of proposed bills that not merely flutter down upon us, but drive and lash us. Like mad people, we charge this way and that helter-skelter, careening into each other, trying to avoid the obvious.

Funny thing that. Don't have time to think about what is on the other side of health care: the death that faces every single person - great and small, wealthy or poor, influential or no-body. Mort doesn't play favorites.

One might suppose that my words are merely an attempt to sell a slim volume entitled A Little Guide for Your Last Days
. But the truth is, I wrote A Little Guide for Your Last Days because I seem to be intent on sending bits of me to temporal punishment in Purgatory on a kind of installment plan: a kidney, ureter, appendix, eye lens. You get the picture.

My "drivenness" or rather, my ability to BE driven, is growing more and more curtailed. But my plan isn't to bring as many friends and associates to a state of despair or existential dread. That, I believe, is what lies behind this heresy of drivenness. Rather, my hope is to help more people come to the Psalmist's imperative: "Be still, and know that I AM God."

Why not do it while one can with a good grace, rather than being chased by it like madcap, pitiable figures in some silent-film slap-stick escapade?
(H)e said to them, "Let us cross to the other side." Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Quiet! Be still!" The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, "Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?" They were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?"
- Mark 4,35b-41


Rabbert said...

Don't know if I would call it a heresy, except insofar as it's treated as a path to salvation. In which case it might be a form of pelagianism?

But as a vice, oddly enough, I think it falls under Sloth, which at root is an attempt to avoid reality at all costs, whether by inactivity or by thoughtless activity.

At least, that's how I make sense of this tendency in my own life.

Shakespeare's Cobbler said...

Rabbert is correct: sloth is avoidance of our proper duties, and thus includes misprioritized busy-ness as well as plain old laziness. It's quite the fashionable vice these days, too.