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It was thanks to my friend Steve that I learned of The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan HolidayThe Obstacle  is the Way lead to Holiday’s book Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media ManipulatorThen in Trust Me, I’m Lying I learned of “iterative journalism.” So this post is my first full fledged venture into iterative blogging. It’s a revision of my previous poem post “Unfollow.”

Unfollow, Unfriend, Unsubscribe

Follow everyone, go nowhere
Befriend everyone, be no one.
Subscribe to all, stand for nothing.
© A. Allen Rowe, 2016

Perhaps this is not the last iteration. Your thoughts?

The Great Dance

The following post first appeared on my Facebook page, February 2, 2016.

This sharing comes from “C. S. Lewis Daily” through biblegateway.com. The passage is from Perelandra, Book 2 of Lewis’ Space Trilogy. See the full passage below. Here is the first paragraph and some of my own sharing.

“The Great Dance does not wait to be perfect until the peoples of the Low Worlds are gathered into it. We speak not of when it will begin. It has begun from before always. There was no time when we did not rejoice before His face as now. The dance which we dance is at the centre and for the dance all things were made. Blessed be He!”

My wish for you is that you may dance always and only the Great Dance, especially if today might be your last time to dance on earth, and it truly might be. The Great Dance is worthy of you. You are worthy of the Great Dance. The Great Dancer will be your partner, but not only the Great Dancer but also and at the same time all who choose and have been chosen to dance the Great Dance. And who might those be? They will be all who choose the Great Dance. For all are invited, but only some choose to join the circle. And in the event you do not choose to dance, then Mario Benedetti has a poem for you: No te salves.

NO TE SALVES
No te quedes inmóvil
al borde del camino
no congeles el júbilo
no quieras con desgana
no te salves ahora
ni nunca
no te salves
no te llenes de calma
no reserves del mundo
sólo un rincón tranquilo
no dejes caer los párpados
pesados como juicios
no te quedes sin labios
no te duermas sin sueño
no te pienses sin sangre
no te juzgues sin tiempo

pero si
pese a todo
no puedes evitarlo
y congelas el júbilo
y quieres con desgana
y te salvas ahora
y te llenas de calma
y reservas del mundo
sólo un rincón tranquilo
y dejas caer los párpados
pesados como juicios
y te secas sin labios
y te duermes sin sueño
y te piensas sin sangre
y te juzgas sin tiempo
y te quedas inmóvil
al borde del camino
y te salvas
entonces
no te quedes conmigo
http://www.poesi.as/mbap061.htm

Today’s Reading (from C. S. Lewis Daily, BibleGateway.com)

On celebration

“The Great Dance does not wait to be perfect until the peoples of the Low Worlds are gathered into it. We speak not of when it will begin. It has begun from before always. There was no time when we did not rejoice before His face as now. The dance which we dance is at the centre and for the dance all things were made. Blessed be He!”

Another said, “Never did He make two things the same; never did He utter one word twice. After earths, not better earths but beasts; after beasts, not better beasts but spirits. After a falling, not recovery but a new creation. Out of the new creation, not a third but the mode of change itself is changed for ever. Blessed be He!”

And another said, “It is loaded with justice as a tree bows down with fruit. All is righteousness and there is no equality. Not as when stones lie side by side, but as when stones support and are supported in an arch, such is His order; rule and obedience, begetting and bearing, heat glancing down, life growing up. Blessed be He!”

One said, “They who add years to years in lumpish aggregation, or miles to miles and galaxies to galaxies, shall not come near His greatness. The day of the fields of Arbol will fade and the days of Deep Heaven itself are numbered. Not thus is He great. He dwells (all of Him dwells) within the seed of the smallest flower and is not cramped: Deep Heaven is inside Him who is inside the seed and does not distend Him. Blessed be He!”

“The edge of each nature borders on that whereof it contains no shadow or similitude. Of many points one line; of many lines one shape; of many shapes one solid body; of many senses and thoughts one person; of three persons, Himself. As is the circle to the sphere, so are the ancient worlds that needed no redemption to that world wherein He was born and died. As is a point to a line, so is that world to the far-off fruits of its redeeming. Blessed be He!”

“Yet the circle is not less round than the sphere, and the sphere is the home and fatherland of circles. Infinite multitudes of circles lie enclosed in every sphere, and if they spoke they would say, For us were spheres created. Let no mouth open to gainsay them. Blessed be He!”

“The peoples of the ancient worlds who never sinned, for whom He never came down, are the peoples for whose sake the Low Worlds were made. For though the healing what was wounded and the straightening what was bent is a new dimension of glory, yet the straight was not made that it might be bent nor the whole that it might be wounded. The ancient peoples are at the centre. Blessed be He!”

“All which is not itself the Great Dance was made in order that He might come down into it. In the Fallen World He prepared for Himself a body and was united with the Dust and made it glorious for ever. This is the end and final cause of all creating, and the sin whereby it came is called Fortunate and the world where this was enacted is the centre of worlds. Blessed be He!”

From Perelandra
Compiled in Words to Live By

Perelandra. Copyright © 1943 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All right reserved under international and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

The Way Today

I do not want to spend the rest of my life on a dead-end street or worse, in the parking lot. I want to go the right way to end up at the right place at the right time with the right people. That’s what I want every day, every minute in fact. If I can do that, I will be fulfilled. I will fulfill my destiny. I will fulfill my role in the lives of those it is my lot to impact. I want to own my destiny, to the extreme! (Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin)

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life. (Psalm 143:8, NIV, biblegateway.com)

Por la mañana hazme saber de tu gran amor,
    porque en ti he puesto mi confianza.
Señálame el camino que debo seguir,
    porque a ti elevo mi alma. (Salmo 143:8, NVI, biblegateway.com)

Fais-moi dès le matin entendre ta bonté! Car je me confie en toi. Fais-moi connaître le chemin où je dois marcher! Car j’élève à toi mon âme. (Psaume 143:8, Louis Segond, biblegateway.com)

Lass mich schon früh am Morgen deine gnädige Antwort hören,
denn auf dich vertraue ich.
Lass mich den Weg wissen, den ich gehen soll,
– meine Seele sehnt sich nach dir. (Psalmen 143:8, Neue Genfe Übersetzung, biblegateway.com)

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Distance Owned

I love the poem If by Rudyard Kipling. Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin and The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday put the poem in a new light for me.

Distance Owned
If you fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds of distance you own,
Then, my child, your now is yours and all that’s in it.
You’ll posses the way to life’s richest throne.

© A. Allen Rowe, 2016

Our Obstacle, Our Way

Spiritual catalysts of late
The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willinck and Leif Babin

Spiritual catalysts of forever
The Words of Jesus by God.

In my Matcha morning meditation, words began to crystallize. May this haiku serve you as a koan and riddle of scripture meditation:

Alta Brisa Dawn
Obstacle? Our day;
Extreme Ownership? Our way.
Sufficient evil.
© A. Allen Rowe, 2016

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Jesus’ Words

Matcha

Tune Well

43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” (Luke 19, NIV)

Wow! This just shook me up. Not recognizing the time of God’s coming to us leaves us exposed to harm, terrible harm. I had never considered the personal take away of this word: I need to stay tuned daily to the right frequency to know when God has come to show the way out of danger. And might it be that God comes to me in the form of counsel from faithful friends? Do I stay in touch with friends? Do I seek their counsel? Do I heed it?

Spirit Power

When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues,and everyone praised him. (Luke 4:13-15), NIV)

I’ve read this passage many times. This morning for the first time “in the power of the Spirit” stood out. I realized that not even Jesus could pursue his mission with power until he was filled with the Spirit. Jesus’ path to this supreme power was baptism, isolation, fasting, and rejection of the power, glitter and glory the world had to offer.

I need the power of the Spirit to accomplish my mission. I have been baptized. I have spent a day or so at a time isolated without speaking. I have spent days in fasting from time to time. I don’t feel particularly bound to a lust for power, glitter, and glory. Even so, my Spirit walk falls far, far below the example of Jesus. I am surely not walking in the needed power. What next? What’s a husband and father to do? I barely have the time to write this, and that only because the family is still asleep.

third-temptation-of-christ

(http://differentparent.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/third-temptation-of-christ.jpg?w=334&h=187)