On Obedience – From A Friend

It is noteworthy to reflect how obedience is a perfect synergy of faith, humility, courage and love.

– From Heartbeat and Yudi. A very helpful post from a few days ago.

I have sometimes thought about the courage needed to keep faith with obedience. This morning a kiss from my husband gave me the courage to get out of bed and say my prayers. What I met with in my prayers gave me the courage to go out and visit people – my husband’s grandmother and aunt and family, and a friend from Detroit with her three children. The blessing I met with from those loved ones gave me courage to go to work and be cheerful and spontaneous and flexible with my students. And when I came home, the encouragement of my internet friends, and the Lord’s gift of success at a profitable and happy day, give me the courage to sit here working on my reading and writing.

Obedience can simply be accepting the present shape of your life and living it fully.

Or it can be allowing yourself to be lowered down into a pit full of ravenous lions rather than stop saying your prayers for a couple of days.

All things considered, I think God is taking it easy on me just a bit.

Note: Here’s a great song for my present frame of mind. With apologies for the non-appropriate pictures – just listen and don’t look unless you want to destroy your mood. But what a wonderfully human sound – catch the way the drummer gets a little too excited, just by a shade at the end, and creates the whole thing in reverse!

(I’m drinking hard lemonade, at my husband’s kind invitation, so my mood is protected.)

Who would true Valour see
Let him come hither;
One here will Constant be,
Come Wind, come Weather.
There’s no Discouragement,
Shall make him once Relent,
His first avow’d Intent,
To be a Pilgrim.

Who so beset him round,
With dismal Stories,
Do but themselves Confound;
His Strength the more is.
No Lyon can him fright,
He’l with a Gyant Fight,
But he will have a right,
To be a Pilgrim.

Hobgoblin, nor foul Fiend,
Can daunt his Spirit:
He knows, he at the end,
Shall Life Inherit.
Then Fancies fly away,
He’l fear not what men say,
He’l labour Night and Day,
To be a Pilgrim.

John Bunyan

6 thoughts on “On Obedience – From A Friend

  1. I love this kind of music but don’t get to hear it often. I believe Maddy Pryor was formerly with a Scots band I used to listen to, Steeleye Span. The song she’s singing in this clip is just wonderful, and it was one of my favorites when I was an Episcopalian at the beginning of my conversion. I still sing and whistle it often. The imagery and tradition of The Pilgrim’s Progress is still the marrow in my bones. I am a Pilgrim, even now, except that now I “speaks Greeks.”

    Thanks for sharing this, and please don’t apologise. I didn’t see any inappropriate pictures.

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  2. I’m glad you enjoyed it, friend.

    You know, another old Scots performer that I love is Andy Stewart – I have an LP called “Andy Stewart’s Scotland” which is fully of great stuff with the same gusto and zip and hidden polish as this.

    No, I didn’t think the pictures were inappropriate, just non-appropriate, meaning that they didn’t “go with the music” very well.

    I know what you mean about the Pilgrimage – maybe I should post something old where I jumped off of Pilgrim’s Progress to take some shots at so called evangelism in contemporary times… and talk about the nature of true conversion as I understood it then. It wouldn’t be perfect from an Orthodox perspective but not without worth.

    P.S.

    Here’s a great video where Andy Stewart suddenly switches to an Elvis imitation right in the middle of this great Scottish song… very funny.

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  3. Aye. I very much relate to this statement — All things considered, I think God is taking it easy on me just a bit. That perspective is the true perspective on our troubles. None of what I endure will ever rise to the level of suffering of my dear Savior.

    Also, I enjoyed the music; thanks for the admonition to ignore the pictures. Had I viewed them while listening, it would have been so much interference.

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  4. Glad you liked the music. 🙂

    True; Christ suffered more than we do and this does put things into perspective. Thank you. And more than that; our suffering is not for nothing… in a mystery we fill up what is lacking in his suffering, since he suffers even in us and we suffer even with and for him. With what everlasting overflowing deeply penetrating and tightly uniting Love will we be joined with him, who have shared not joy only, but first suffering and then joy together.

    And this all is the beauty of the Christ, of God who is the annointed Man, who was not our completely our Savior till he had been made perfect as such through suffering.

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  5. Thank you for giving a “blast from the past”. I read and enjoyed Pilgrim’s Progress many years ago. I have a similar faith background to yours – independent Baptist to Orthodox. Who would have thought such a thing? I sometimes recoil from that fundamentalist upbringing of my youth – but you can’t discount the faith and fervency of those people. John Bunyan was surely one of the brighter lights of the Baptist faith. By the way, I am also a piano teacher along with teaching flute. I enjoy your website and thoughts.

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  6. Pam, It’s lovely to meet you; thanks for stopping by.

    It does seem a strange progression on the outside, but to my mind Baptist thinking creates a sore spot on the question of authority, and questions of authority do lead people to the Orthodox Church.

    No, you can’t discount the faith and fervency. True. And you’re right about John Bunyan.

    Thank you.

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