The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan part 3

Posted on 10. Nov, 2015 by in Church News

I want to share with you the Sabbath Liturgy for this chapter as I did for the last, but before I do that I want to mention one thing from the chapter entitled, “A Beautiful Mind: Stopping to Think Anew.” In the chapter Mark talks about the Greek words for time, chronos and kairos. Chronos was a Greek God who was ravenous. He would eat and eat and eat and never find satisfaction. He even ate his own children. There are several paintings on the subject, Google them if you want nightmares. Time is like that, isn’t it? It eats and eats away at our life until there is nothing left. If we aren’t careful we will fall victim to chronos. That is why we have to chase kairos. Kairos is the fullness of time. It asks, “What is this time for,” not just “what time is it?” Kairos always seeks to find the holy purpose for the moment. We all need to be careful not to fall into the destructive rut of chronos and to be mindful of kairos. 

Now for the Sabbath Liturgy. As always, my thoughts, if any, in blue and the authors in black.

Sabbath Liturgy: Taking Thoughts Captive

I sometimes imagine Solomon submitting the Proverbs to a modern publisher and getting this response:

Dear Sol,

Thanks for the opportunity to glance over your recent submission. We loved your dad’s book and continue to be humbled and amazed by how many people it’s blessed.

About your book: there’s some great stuff here – some real gems of insight (my four year old loved the one about a dog’s vomit, though I’m not sure something like that would make the final cut). I also appreciate your ability to cover a wide range of topics with brevity. You explore everything from domestic squabbles to international politics to corporate strategy, and so succinctly (though, I admit, here and there a tad cryptically).

But I need to be frank with you. Sol, this is an editorial nightmare. It is all over the place. One minute you’re talking about nattering wives, the next about kings’ hearts, and then suddenly you’re on about table manners, lazy people, poor men, whatever. You repeat yourself in many places, contradict yourself in others. I’m intrigued but confused. I wish you would take one theme per chapter and develop it fully.

I’m not saying no. But I am asking this: sum up the whole book in one clear sentence – I’m talking thesis statement here, Sol, just as in your college days. If we can nail that, I think we can build the book from there.

Say hi to the wives and concubines and kids. And congratulations on your recent marriages last month.

Kindest Regards,

Friendly Publisher

P.S. I should have mentioned the title The Proverbs strikes me as a bit pedestrian. I’m thinking something catchier, like Zingers: One-Liners to Delight Your Friends and Humiliate Your Enemies. What do you think?

Solomon’s response might have gone something like this:

Dear Friendly Publisher,

I’ve thought about your critique and request, and though I think you’ve missed the point of my book’s (dis)organization (hint: it mimics life), I at least want to give you the “one clear” sentence that sums up the entire work. I simply lifted this straight out of my book. Here it is: The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of the fools is deception. (Proverbs 14:8)

Hope that helps.

Shalom,

Solomon

P.S. I prefer the original title.

The wisdom of the wise is to give thought to their ways. They think about where they’re going. But the folly of fools is deception. They keep lying to themselves.

Wise people ask, “Does this path I’m walking lead to a place I want to go? If I keep heading this way, will I like where I arrive?”

Fools don’t ask that. They keep making excuses for themselves, justifying and blaming, all the way to nowhere. They dupe themselves right to the grave. They never change their minds.

Consider your ways. That’s a wise Sabbath Liturgy. And let me make it even more specific: consider your thoughts and attitudes, the pattern of them, their shape and drift. Are they leading you where you want to go? Plot their trajectory: will they land you in a place you care to live?

If not, change you mind. “Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5)

Take a moment right now. Begin with David’s prayer, “Search me, O God, and see if there be any wicked way in me.” (see Ps 139:23-24) Invite the Spirit to search you and reveal one habitual thought, one attitude of your heart, that is misleading you. It may be shame, a sense that you must keep hiding, keep avoiding the light. It may be pride, or a temptation to judge others, or an insecurity that drives you into envy and rivalry. It may be just the sense of insignificance – that no one sees you, not even God.

Whatever it is, ask God to change your mind. End with the rest of David’s prayer, “And lead me in the way everlasting. (Ps 139:24)

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