Happy Sunday, friends. I hope you are slowing down and reflecting some on this sunny Sunday morning (at least in Topeka). 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. While you’re slowing down, you might want to check out what Jesus said a few hundred years later. You see, He turned the world on it’s head with his proposal of Christian virtue. The route he proposed was simple and 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 “during their side hustle” 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.” Last night witnessing the union of Sammie and Evan as they shared wedding vows in between laughs and tears, it was obvious these two have chosen wisely. Sammie and Evan chose wisely, how ‘bout you friend…
What values do you exude on Saturday night?
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?
Slow down and celebrate your freedom. Slow down and celebrate faith, hope, and love. Slow down and celebrate courage, justice, prudence, and temperance. Slow down and celebrate the gift you’ve been given to choose. Freedom, you know, is not free. Celebrate those around you, like my friend Jim Gant, who’ve paid dearly for you and I to choose. Choose wisely, friend. Good…