Saturday, May 8, 2010

Bonhoeffer's Answers

In my last post about Bonhoeffer, I listed some of his questions. There was a long list of questions.  In this post...and probably the next one....I will highlight some of his answers.   

About living in the now he says:

These theological thoughts are, in fact, always occupying my mind; but there are times when I am just content to live the life of faith without worrying about its problems. At those times I simply take pleasure in the days' readings- in particular those of yesterday and today; and I'm always glad to go back to Paul Gerhardt's beautiful hymns.

I discovered later, and I'm still discovering right up to this moment, that is it only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith.

Didn't Jesus do this?  Didn't he live completely in this world...partaking of its ups and downs, petty discomforts, major set-backs, small joys, earthly pleasures? Didn't Jesus know the "power of now"....what he called "eternal life?

This reminds me of Eckhart Tolle's teachings about dwelling in the now...not tomorrow, not next week...not even ten minutes from now. 

The ten minute rule was an especially helpful teaching a few years ago when Beth was running away and causing so many problems.  I am a worrier by nature and nurture...daughter of the queen of the worst case scenario. Reminding myself of the ten minute rule helped a lot during that very difficult time. As I type this post, it occurs to me that revisiting the ten minute rule might not be a bad idea.

Quoting Eckhart.....

Find the “narrow gate that leads to life.” It is called the Now. Narrow your life down to this moment. Your situation may be full of problems---most life situations are---- but find out if you have any problem at this moment. Not tomorrow or in ten minutes, but now. Do you have a problem now?

I know some will quibble about the wording but in Christianese, I think Tolle is saying...

Find the narrow gate that leads to life....which is "the Christ" that dwells within...the light that lights every man that comes into the world.  Or what Preston Eby refers to as

the man’s “I Am,” a gift from the I AM who created him

In Christianese he is also saying as Galatians 5:25 declares walk in the spirit.  If you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. (Gal 6:8)

So what is your problem, right now, this second?  By focusing on the moment at hand, we do not waste precious resources obsessing about something that might not even occur.  And when something does occur...within our ten minute window...we will be better able to deal with it when and IF it occurs. 

Bonhoeffer did not call it "living in the now."  Neither did Jesus...but the idea is the same..documented in the pages of the "red letters" no less....

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

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