For Day 4 and 5 of the WordPress Finding Everyday Inspiration Challenge
Struggling has hope of success, but forsaking the struggle does not
– John Piper
John Piper is perhaps most famous for his espousal of Christian Hedonism, the idea that ‘God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him’. One of the essential tenets of this is that we are designed to, and should indeed, desire God not only on the level of mental assent but also at a deeper heart, emotional level. The reality of most people of faith is that our hearts and heart connections to God wax and wane, the strength of our feelings never really existing continuously in that Christian Hedonist space.
It is in a reflection on fifteen years since publishing that book that the quote above comes. This is both a source of hope and concern, hope because the struggle is proof that some life is still left in my faith, but also concern that they might just be the final thrashings of a thing recently dead thing. Food for thought!
For the second day of the challenge for which Mrs T nominated me, this J. R. R. Tolkien quote comes to mind. A line in a poem in the first volume of Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings, it refers to the Rangers who although often considered vagabonds are actually protectors and bulwarks against evil in Middle Earth.
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.
My first encounter with this quote from Jim Elliot’s diary is lost to the blurred edges of memory but if I were to hazard a guess it would have had to be at one of the myriad youth camps and Sunday schools I was dragged along to in my teens. Jim Elliot’s story is a fascinating if morbid one, of martyrdom, forgiveness and building an enduring legacy, things which matter in the long run.