Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I was not aware that we had quarreled.

- Henry David Thoreau, philosopher, who
died on this day of tuberculosis, age 44,
in 1862

As Thoreau was dying, his aunt is reported to have asked him if he was at peace with God. The above quote was his answer. Do you love it?!

(The picture shows how things have changed, I think. I would say that Thoreau, less than 44, looks 60. Food and meds and technology.)

I had the privilege to serve as Interim for about 16 months at St. Anne’s, Lincoln MA. I was about 40. Walden Pond was just up the road. Being the Romantic that I am, I used to go and sit there now and then, on fair days, on my day off, with some wine and a picnic and a folding chair. Only the foundation of Thoreau’s little house remains. It cost him $28! There I read “Walden; or, Life in the Woods”, and “A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers”, and “Civil Disobedience”. I remember it as an idyllic time.

I have never had occasion to quarrel with God. My path in Life has been a relentless determination on the part of some Mystery to show me that I would never have any reason to be on the outs with God. Every step of the way, when I was tempted to think that God would have a quarrel with me, would disapprove of me, would not accept me, something or someone or some ministry would come along and make it clear that there was no reason not to be at peace with God. “Faith in God” is the conviction that Life desires only Good for each of us. That faith brings only the “peace that passes all understanding”.

If anyone ever asks you if you are at peace with God, I’m sure that Thoreau would be more than happy for you to borrow his response! And if you’re not sure, you’re not on the right path.


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