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Re: The Lord's Will

> I would be very glad to receive any comments, criticisms or
> clarifications that you might be willing to send to me.

Thank you.  I find your reflections helpful.  You prompt a few of my

God gave us fairly specific talents and expects us to use them fully,
even to enjoy them.  That is not necessarily egocentric.  We have both
known Christians so afraid of their ego that they never discover how
to deploy it for the good of others.  Just as it is possible to "think
more highly of ourselves than we ought to think," it is also possible
to think too lowly of ourselves and of the gifts that God has given

A very talented singer was a freshman classmate at college 50 years
ago this month, but he felt too embarrassed to sing boldly, was
frightfully shy, was uncomfortable when his strong voice brought
attention to himself. As a consequence, he refused to take music
lessons, lest he cultivate his ego. He might instead have used the
music training to cultivate his talent.  He has spent 50 years now as
a minister giving far less of his talent to the service of God than he

In seeking the will of God I find it dangerous to listen only to my
own heart, only to those who have loved and nurtured me.  As a
privileged white male growing up in segregated Alabama, I would never
have understood the evils of that system had I looked at it only from
within, only from the blinders of my own privilege, only from the
point of view of those who loved me.  God powerfully used some outside
witnesses to get through to me, to reform my conscience, to enlist my
talents in the hard work of dismantling that evil system.

It is all too easy to mistake taboo for Gospel.  The importunate woman
persuaded even Jesus himself to change his mind.

Jesus says that we will be judged not by how much we serve those like
outselves or agree with us, but by how much we serve those deemed the
least among us.  If I want to find God's will for my life, I find no
better way to start than to find those least valued and to value them
as God's stand-in.

Thanks for your reflections, and for prompting mine.

May God continue to use you to bless the world.

Louie Crew, Ph.D., D.D., D.D., D.H.L.
Member of Executive Council of  the Episcopal Church
377 S. Harrison St., 12D, East Orange, NJ 07018-1222. 973-395-1068
http://newark.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/rel.html  Anglican Pages

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