Happy Sunday, friends. I hope you are slowing down and reflecting some before cheering the Chiefs on to victory this evening. Lets go back for awhile, shall we. Aristotle put forth some really good stuff about virtue a few years back. He wrote that the chief aim of humankind was to achieve happiness. The route he proposed was through living a virtuous life that centered around these four principles:
Courage. Justice. Prudence. Temperance.
Ancient wisdom indeed and, I might add, well worth reading and contemplating. Jesus, a few hundred years later, turned the world on it’s head with his proposal for Christian virtue. The route he proposed was simple and real hard. He put forth three principles that the ancient Greeks nor the present day Romans could fathom. His big three principles were as follows:
Faith. Hope. Love.
Our founders read both Aristotle and the Bible. They read about Rome, Spain, Holland, France, and England. These guys were absolutely crazy students. They had their regular jobs and “on the side” they would get together and build a very loose coalition that would eventually blossom into a government of sorts. After much study and even more verbal jousting, they had the worst orator among them (Jefferson) write up their principles for living a virtuous life. They titled it simply, The Declaration of Independence. Our founders central principle:
Today, we are free Americans working exactly where we want to, living in the city of our choice, with exactly the people we have chosen to be around, putting in the hours of our choosing, buying whatever we choose to purchase, sending children (as many as we want) to whatever school system suits us, speaking whatever words we choose to whomever chooses to listen, and free, really free to believe. Free to build life around whatever principles we choose. Free to live virtuously toward whatever aim we want. And, free to think deeply about such thoughts and free to not – think that is. Aristotle put forth the aim of the virtuous life was to achieve happiness. Jesus went a bit further up stream. He proposed that the chief aim of humankind was something all together different. He proposed that we aim at experiencing “blessedness.” Blessedness, according to N.T. Wright, a freakin’ crazy Englishman who is still alive, is “what happens when the creator God is at work both in someone’s life and through that person’s life.”
What do you believe?
Have you authored your deepest held beliefs or do you merely parrot others?
Have you taken the time to become CORE centered and self controlling or are you still self centered and other controlling?
Slow down this Sunday and sit with this for awhile, friend. It’s good to go slow on a Sunday, at least some of the time, isn’t it?