formerly Akeret haBayit in Training

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Priceless! : Music

The following is an exerpt from "The Christians Secret to a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith". I am still reading it, and this Shabbat I just began Chapter 7, Difficulties Concerning the Will.

WHEN the child of God has, by entire abandonment and absolute trust, stepped out of himself into Christ, and has begun to know something of the blessedness of the life hid with Christ in God, there is one form of difficulty which is especially likely to start up in his path. After the first emotions of peace and rest have somewhat subsided, or if, as is sometimes the case, they have never seemed to come at all, he begins to feel such an uttter unreality in the things he has been passing through, that he seems to himself like a hypocrite, when he says or even thinks they are real. It seems to him that his belief does not go below the surface; that it is a mere lip-belief, and therefore of no account, and that his surrender is not a surrender of the heart, and therefore cannot be acceptable to God. He is afraid to say he is altogether the Lord's, for fear he will be telling an untruth; and yet he cannot bring himself to say he is not, because he longs for it so intensely. The difficulty is real and very disheartening.

But there is nothing here which will not be very easily overcome, when the Christian once thoroughly understands the principles of the new life, and has learned how to live in it. The common thought is that this life hid with Christ in God is to be lived in the emotions, and consequently all the attention of the soul is directed toward them, and as they are satisfactory or otherwise, the soul rests or is troubled. Now, the truth is, that this life is not to be lived in the emotions at all, but in the will; and therefore, if only the will is kept steadfastly abiding in its centre, God's will, the varying states of emotion do not in the least disturb or affect the reality of the life.

To make this plain, I must enlarge a little. Fenelon says, somewhere, that "pure religion resides in the will alone." By this he means that, as the will is the governing power in the man's nature, if the will is set right, all the rest of the nature must come into harmony. By the will, I do not mean the wish of the man, or even his purpose, but the deliberate choice, the deciding power, the king, to which all that is in the man must yield obedience. It is the man, in short, the "Ego" that which we feel to be ourselves.

It is sometimes thought that the emotions are the governing power in our nature. But I think we all of us know, as a matter of practical experience, that there is something within us, behind our emotions and behind our wishes, an independent self, that, after all, decides everything and controls everything. Our emotions belong to us, and are suffered and enjoyed by us, but they are not ourselves; and if God is to take posession of us, it must be into this central will or personality that He enters. If, then, He is reigning there by the power of His Spirit, all the rest of our nature must come under His sway; and as the will is, so is the man.

The practical bearing of this truth upon the difficulty I am considering is very great. For the decisions of our will are often so directly opposed to the decisions of our emotions, that, if we are in the habit of considering our emotions as the test, we shall be very apt to feel like hypocrites in declaring those things to be real which our will alone has decided. But the moment we see that the will is king, we shall utterly disregard anything that clamors against it, and shall claim as real its decisions, let the emotions rebel as they may.

I am aware that this is a difficult subject to deal with; but it is so exceedingly practical in its bearing upon the life of faith, that I beg of you, dear reader, not to turn from it until you have mastered it.

For me, reading this was , it struck me so- truth always does. It really spoke to me, applied to me, and made me think of the scriptures that say that the Torah and wisdom is like treasure- I exclaimed, "Priceless!" while reading it. I think it seems like the key to that fire that one feels when first entering into a relationship with HaShem- I love how it is a relationship- not a deal, or an insurance.
Now, for some music. The first video is a singer called Christian Aguilera, singing "You Lift Me Up" at the Hope for Haiti telethon. I think it is a beautiful song, sung beautifully, and was glad I caught it.

I have been enjoying our CD of Yosef Karduner. His music is so obviously G-d inspired, and so beautiful. Here is his song, "Tismach".

Hope you enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I appreciate your presence. Feel free to share your opinions and perspectives in good spirit! :)