“Work out Your Own Salvation…”

 

The Apostle Paul admonished us to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.” And, as we diligently attempt to do this, any “salvation” that might need to come to others through us will take place without our manipulation, intimidation, and coercion. Here is this notion expressed beautifully by a contemporary poet:

Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create
a clearing
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
patiently,
until the song
that is yours alone to sing
falls into your open cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world so worthy of rescue.
(Martha Postlethwaite)

And, this brings to my mind the lovely poetry of William Wordsworth who also appeared to understand divine workmanship in our lives:

Dust as we are, the immortal spirit grows
Like harmony in music; there is a dark
Inscrutable workmanship that reconciles
Discordant elements, makes them cling together
In one society. How strange, that all
The terrors, pains, and early miseries,
Regrets, vexations, lassitudes interfused
Within my mind, should e’er have borne a part,
And that a needful part, in making up
The calm existence that is mine when I
Am worthy of myself! Praise to the end!

 

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