Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Story of Telemachus

I was truly intrigued by a story my pastor shared with us this morning, so of course I promptly googled it when I got home. And just a disclaimer: some disagree with details of this, but from what I have researched, these are the more credible details.

Telemachus was a monk outside of Rome. He felt that God was calling him to Rome, and listened and obeyed. He soon found himself in the midst of the gladiator games. Soon after, he begin calling out "in the name of Christ, Stop!" over and over.

At first the crowd just stared. Then laughed, thinking he was the comic relief. And eventually their chuckles turned into hatred, as this man was interrupting their violent entertainment.

Eventually Telemachus was in the dirt with the gladiators continuing his plea, "in the name of Christ, stop!"
Screaming. Begging. To just stop...stop the murder.

Well, you can probably imagine what happens next . No one wants to hear this when they are enjoying a great match--so one of the gladiator stabs him. Some stories say he was also stoned. Others say everyone left the stadium in silence. One thing is for sure--
he made them think.

It was in the near future, some say the very next day, that the Emperor made an edict declaring that there would be no more gladiator games.

...all because of this man's plea. This man's passion to the death. He was only one, but he believed in the cause he was fighting for. And was vocal!

I can't help but think of MLK's quote that says, "
If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live."

That is a bold, bold statement. But truly, I have to wholeheartedly agree. Not in the way, "he isn't fit to live" so he should just be killed--of course not, but instead, "he isn't fit to live"--meaning he won't have life to the full. [John 10:10] He isn't fit to live in the way he can.

Because this kind of life, this life with passion, this life where when we see injustice and suffering, we cry out--even if others laugh, even if death is right on our toes, this kind of life where we are so sold out, we would die for our brother [1 John 3:16], this life where we do all these things with boldness because the sting of death does not scare us, because it has been swallowed up. [
1 Cor. 15:55]

...well, I think this kind of life is beautiful.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

My friend Alex posted this on her facebook a few weeks ago...and I loved it, so I'm posted it too:)

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

-Max Ehrmann