by Gerard Manley Hopkins
GLORY be to God for dappled things,
For skies of couple-color as a brindled cow,
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls, finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced, fold, fallow and plough,
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange,
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim.
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change;
The Two Wisdoms
Wisdom does not mean what we would ordinarily think it to mean. It is not wise sayings, but more like a value system. As noted, the wisdom of the gods of this world is a system predicated on force, violence, threat, fear, ambition, lust, intimidation and the terror of men to preserve themselves and to make their own survival the first law of life. It is the unchallenged premise by which the world lives its life, namely, the avoidance of pain and the pursuit of pleasure. The world makes that the foremost principle of being. The ability to lay down one’s life and not to consider one’s life as dear to oneself is the wisdom of God and is predicated on contemptible weakness and foolishness. The one wisdom lives for itself, its own preservation and its own advantages, while Gods wisdom lives for another; it is selfless. It is the wisdom of the Son of God who never initiated anything in Himself, or for Himself, but lived entirely for the gratification of His Father.
This is contrary to human nature and how we think we have to live. Anything that is resolved through violence is the wisdom of this world. That is the way the world has lived its life throughout history. God’s wisdom is to relinquish, to give up, to yield and to believe that there is something greater than death and, by that, not to fear death. It is a wisdom that is centered in the Cross of Christ Jesus, namely, to serve and glorify Him. We will know that we have aligned ourselves with God when we constitute a threat to the realm of spirit Powers that brood over us. The overcomers of the end of the age are not those who avoid pain and pursue pleasure, but who overcome,
…because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death (Rev. 12:11b).
The world cannot bear this kind of wisdom. The only one who can live like that truly is one who does not think that this life is the whole story, and who realizes that there is a life beyond this life for which this life is preparation. There is an eternity, and it is the true appreciation of that reality that enables us to be fearless in this life. If we suffer the loss of our life, we are fully persuaded that it is not mere happenstance or accident, but ordained of God, and that there will be eternal reward for that sacrifice and suffering.
The seasons, like greater tides, ebb and flow across the continents.
Spring advances up the United States at the average rate of about
fifteen miles a day. It ascends mountainsides at the rate of about a
hundred feet a day. It sweeps ahead like a flood of water, racing
down the long valleys, creeping up hillsides in a rising tide. Most
of us, like the man who lives on the bank of a river and watches the
stream flow by, see only one phase of the movement of spring. Each
year the season advances toward us out of the south, sweeps around
us, goes flooding away to the north.
– Edwin Way Teale, North With the Spring