Saturday, December 03, 2016
"I stood once upon the deck of a ship watching a shoal of porpoises following us and racing round us: every now and then the brown, sleek, shining bodies of the great creatures rose from the blue waves and entered them again with a soft plunge. Our life is like that: we rise for an instant into the light of life, we fall again beneath the waves; but all the while the soul pursues her real track unseen and unsuspected, as the gliding sea-beast cuts the green ocean twilight, or wanders among the rocks and hidden slopes fringed with the branching ribbons, the delicate tangles of spring-fed groves." Benson.
Thursday, December 01, 2016
"But if we are indeed desirous to do better, to grow in grace, and yet feel ourselves terribly weak and light-minded, what practical steps can we take to the goal that we see far off? The one thing that we can do in moments of insight is to undertake some little responsibility which we shall be ashamed to discard. We can look round our circle, and it will be strange if we cannot find at least one person whom we can help; and the best part of assuming such a responsibility is that it tends to grow and ramify; but in any case there is surely one person whom we can relieve, or encourage, or listen to, or make happier; if we can find the strength to come forward, to lead such a one to depend upon us, we shall have little inclination to desert or play false one whom we have encouraged to trust us. And thus we can take our first trembling step out of the mire." Arthur Benson.
I chose this picture because it is such a vivid example of Benson's thoughts. If we pull one little chick out of the flock, and care for it in some way; we will find ourselves becoming attached to that single chick more than all the others, and find ourselves willing to sacrifice for it far more than we ever imagined.
Monday, November 28, 2016
In this piece by Martin Tupper, he warns us that when we judge, although at times rightly, of another person: we rarely understand the person's influences and only God knows, like the hairs on our heads, all the many circumstances that make them who they are and why.
"Sometimes at a glance thou judgest well; and years could add little to thy knowledge.
But often, by shrewd scrutiny, thou judgest to the good man's harm;
For it may be his hour of trial, or he slumbereth at this post,
Or he hath slain his foe, but not yet leveled the stronghold,
Or barely recovered of the wounds, that fleshed him in his fray with passion.
There may be deeper things than these, lying in the twilight of truth;
couldst thou read the history of character the chequred story of life,
Wert to add the forces from without, dragging him this way and that,
And the secret qualities within, grafted on the soul from the womb,
And the might of other men's example, among whom his lot is cast,
And the influence of want, or wealth, of kindness or harsh ill-usage,
Of ignorance he cannot help, and knowledge found for him by others,
And inheritance of likeness from a father, and natural human frailty,
And the habit of health or disease, and prejudices poured into his mind, and the myriad little matters none but God can know,
if thou couldst compass all these, and the consequents flowing from them, and the scope to which they tend, and the necessary fitness of all things, then shouldst thou see as God seeth, who judgeth all men equal."
Sunday, November 27, 2016
"As I walked today, far and fast in the sun-warmed lanes, my thoughts came yapping and growling round me like a pack of curs -- undignified, troublesome, vexatious thoughts; I chase them away for a moment, and next moment they are snapping at my heels. There is no escape then, and the matter is in the hands of God; but when many dogs have come about one, one feels that one must try to deal with the situation oneself; and that is just what one does not want to do." Arthur Benson.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
"Here in my isle of silence, between low land and marsh, under the spacious sky, I want to try an experiment -- to live simply and honestly, without indolence or haste, neither wasting time nor devouring it, not refusing burdens but not inventing useless ones, not secluding myself in a secret cell of solitude, but not multiplying dull and futile relations. One thing I may say honestly and sincerely, that I do indeed desire to fulfill the Will and purpose of God for me, if I can but discern it;" A.C.Benson