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So

What’r ya gonna do.

You get ready to review and send those two class papers that you spent a day and a half plus all the little bits of time here and there when you were looking up the info that you would need for the day and a half finalizing time and guess what?  Apparently you did not save your finished version of paper #2.

That’s right – you heard me.  DID NOT SAVE THE FINISHED VERSION OF THE PAPER.

OK – some perspective here.  It is not a big hard paper.  Paper #1 was the harder one.  But it’s the idea.  It IS frustrating to look and look and look and it just keeps on not being there.

The upside?  This is a proof of life moment for me.  Yes, really it is.  I remember the day when something just this simple could send me into an emotional tailspin of despair over ALL the things wrong in my life and endless recriminations.  Such dark days.

But when I came across this the other day I felt none of that.

Was I frustrated?  YES

Was I aggravated?  YES

Did I despair?  NO   I moved on.

Make a plan for another day to sit down and remember what you wrote.   Be thankful that you’re not a “wait til the last minute and create a terrible crises person” (although I know some people thrive on crises – find something else to be thankful for : ) ).

Think

Make a new plan

Move on

Live

Image

One of the dancing ladies in a fountain at Kaufmann Gardens, Kansas City, MO

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“Whereas Confucianism is concerned with day-to-day rules of conduct, Taoism is concerned with a more spiritual level of being.”

I read this today as I studied my Art Appreciation class material.  We have moved on  to Oriental Art.  I do like the understanding this topic is giving me concerning Confucianism and Taoism.  New information builds on two-year-old information received in World History, strengthening and enlarging.  Viewing these two philosophies/religions via their art has been most helpful.

Another place, perhaps prof said it in her lecture, I heard, if a Confucian saw a person in need of help he would help because Confucianism is about quality of character and “doing the right thing”.  If the Taoist saw someone in need of help they probably wouldn’t help especially at cost or peril to themselves because of seeing the world in a spiritual way and believing that every thing happens as it should – both good and bad.  Now…. Please understand that I understand that my understanding may be limited but this is the picture I’m getting of these two streams of thought.

When I read that sentence above I was reminded of a verse in the Bible – which is the stream I draw from to get my world view.

“Martha, Martha”, the Lord answered, “You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her”.

Martha and Mary – two sisters.  One who served the physical needs of others and one who cared only to be in the spiritual place.

Mary chose the better part.  It would seem then that it is better to be Mary wouldn’t it.  Woe to all the Marthas in this world.  They are not good enough and live under the rebuke of their Lord.  MAYBE and MAYBE not I say after many years of struggle with this.  There are many in the world of Christianity who either are Marys by nature or they believe that they are supposed to pursue being Mary.  This is not about being male or female either.  You find this in both sexes.  Being Mary is elevated.  Being Mary.  Being a Mary type person.   Sit at the feet of Jesus and do nothing else.  Die, Martha self, Die.  You must die and let Mary live.

Let me repeat myself here and get your attention:

MAYBE and MAYBE not I say after many years of struggle with this.

I struggled with this because outwardly I am a Martha.  I know this.  I like to be doing and busy and my mind stays occupied with stuff.    I thought I had to choose Mary and pursue that.  I thought that I was one of those that was made wrong.

In more recent years I came to see a bigger picture.

Mary and Martha may have truly been two different people in the life of Jesus but as all things in the Word are there for our instruction and for examples I see them as two different character traits that live within us all.

I always found it interesting that Jesus would go to Martha for her ministrations for himself and those who travelled with him.  He didn’t turn down her gifts just because Mary’s way was better.  I rather think that his human body very much appreciated what she offered him.  She just needed some perspective and so did I.

Yes, I am Martha but I am ALSO Mary.  Outwardly you’ll  probably see Martha but inwardly I know that Mary lives and sits at my Lord’s feet, peering intently into his face – partaking of his nature.  Whatever is going on in this world I want to know what he thinks about it – I want my reaction to be his reaction.  Whatever I’m doing in this world I want it to be  the expression of  the union of him who dwells fully within me and the person he created me to be.  Whenever he wants to do something I want to have the sensitivity to know it and to have the ability and fearlessness to yield to his leading.  I am grateful that he moves through this world with me whether it’s work, school, balcony gardening, taking care of home and family, watching movies….. whatever.  We do it together.

To force ourselves to be one thing or the other is to not see that Christ is ALL and IN ALL.

So how does this tie in to Confucianism and Taoism?  One expression is not complete without the other.

So also is my understanding of Mary and Martha. I don’t believe that this is an either/or situation but that it’s a both/and situation.  They do not need to oppose one another – they complement one another.

What Mary and Martha have that Confucius and Lao Tsu don’t have is a God who is an indwelling spirit to bring all the pieces together.

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