Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Great and Small

“You differ from a great man in only one respect: the great man was once a very little man, but he developed one important quality: he recognized the smallness and narrowness of his thoughts and actions. Under the pressure of some task that meant a great deal to him, he learned to see how his smallness, his pettiness endangered his happiness. In other words, a great man knows when and in what way he is a little man. A little man does not know he is little and is afraid to know. He hides his pettiness and narrowness behind illusions of strength and greatness, someone else's strength and greatness. He's proud of his great generals but not of himself. He admires an idea he has not had, not one he has had. The less he understands something, the more firmly he believes in it. And the better he understands an idea, the less he believes in it.”
                                                   Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!

it has been my privilege to know many great people
a few of them were “big names”

I have sat in the offices of more than a few Senators
And Congressmen

I have known some great preachers too

But most of the great people I know
are just everyday people
doing everyday things
in common places

there were a number of things that made them great

the first thing that made them great was they had a profound understanding
of themselves.  They knew their weaknesses, and their strengths, they had insight

the second thing that made them great was humility
they were not full of themselves, but full of good things, like kindness, and generosity
and love

the third thing that made them great was their ongoing repentance
They were always trying to be better
When they made a mistake, they owned it
They would never try to pass the blame on to someone else

The fourth thing that made them great is that they tried to make
Those around them feel better about themselves
They didn’t seek to impress
They sought to lift up

rather than trying to get people to admire them
they found things to admire in the other person

these great people have been
home makers

a few have been ministers

it takes a big person to be able to look at themselves honest
to be secure enough in their own value
to be open to God’s prompting and prodding
to be able to see their errors

small people can’t do that
they are fearful
they build themselves up by tearing others down
they pass the blame on, for everything

there are small people with lots of money
and small people with lots of power

but all their wealth and power does not change
who they are
they are still, fundamentally, small

and they are destructive
horribly, and terribly destructive

because they have shut down the Sacred
they have slammed the window on the wind of the Spirit
and extinguished the burning flame of God’s love

and it is so sad

Paul had it right, so right, when he wrote in the Galatians,

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Jesus said it a bit differently
when he said, “by their fruits you shall know them”


A great person draws the best out of others
A small person draws out the worst

A great person brings peace
A small person chaos

A great person promotes growth and change
In him/herself, and in others
A small person never grows,

A great person builds up
A small person tears down

We see smallness and greatness all around us
We are called to be great
And we are called to align ourselves with greatness
Tough times call for greatness

When we align with evil?
When we delight in smallness, and cheer it on?

God is grieved

This is not a time to boast and bluster
To flail out
To deflect
To blame
To dodge
To lie

This is a time to turn to God
To open the windows of our soul to the wind of God
To let the fire of the Spirit burn

This is a time for greatness
A time to seek greatness within ourselves
And to demand it from those we aligned ourselves with
And follow

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