The Whole From the Parts

Individual notes might have a beautiful resonance, but if they stand alone they seem random and purposeless. It requires as an external composer who can arrange them in a sequence for them to have a greater function and beauty. Each note knows nothing of the greater song, yet each is essential to it.

So it is for the stars in the heavens. Individually each is beautiful, but if separated from the rest there are no constellations, no signs of the seasons, no greater whole in the heavens. The full picture only comes when all are taken as a whole, but the whole can only exist because of the individual contribution of each member.

And so it is also for us and the good that we do. We do not know the greater song, the greater sign that we are a part of. We try to live good lives, we try to help where we can, we try to make something beautiful, and each of our efforts are worthy in their own way, but they tend to be localized and short-lived. But if we could see how all of our small, random efforts were being combined and arranged alongside of one another, we would realize that a great author and composer has arranged us with purpose and intent, forming a crescendo, a constellation, a beautiful, greater whole.

Now and again, if we are lucky, we occasionally catch the smallest glimpse of the larger picture, just enough to convince us that there is a symphony and a shape formed through all of humanity. That greater whole surpasses each individual part, but it can only exist because of each individual. I am sure that when we pass over to the other side we will finally be able to appreciate the finished work at a distance, and we will find closure in knowing the vast beauty we were all a part of.

Thought for the Day- God’s Good Day

We do not have the power to make God’s good day bad. We can tarnish ourselves, but not all the beautiful creation that surrounds us.

And for this reason, whatever else is going on, whatever the depth of our personal unworthiness, we can still take a step back and bask in God’s goodness.

For he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good
Matthew 5:45

Thought for the Day- Choosing to Surrender Choice

Overcoming our bad habits often requires removing the element of choice. We make a commitment to not do the bad habit anymore, and thus the choice is already made and doesn’t have to be made again.

But then, a little later, we make an exception and indulge in the habit. Or perhaps we decide that we will engage in the behavior to some degree, if not all the way. At this point we have created the option to do the behavior to some extent if the conditions are right. So now it becomes a matter of judgment again. The borders have been blurred, and from that point on, we must debate whether each successive situation warrants getting to indulge in the bad habit again or not. Thus, our bad habit has once again become a matter of choice. And this is why we give up on our commitments shortly after making them.

We should set our commitments, refuse to make exceptions, and remove the element of choice.