Overcoming our bent toward blindness in the wonders of the ordinary

Clyde Kilby was formerly a professor at Wheaton College. He established the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton as a resource center for the study of seven British authors, including C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. Kilby was one of the most influential instructors on the life of John Piper. Piper quotes him at length, specifically in the use of the world in our fight for joy. For the next three days I would like to quote the eleven resolutions that Kilby gave in his last talk that John Piper heard. Use them in your fight for joy in this world.

  1. At least once every day I shall look steadily up at the sky and remember that I, a consciousness with a conscience, am on a planet traveling in space with wonderfully mysterious things above me and about me. (We are each a little tiny dust speck traveling in an incredibly vast universe, the depths of which we shall never fathom. Think daily of the immensity of God and his universe and your own finitude.)
  2. Instead of the accustomed idea of a mindless and endless evolutionary change to which we can neither add nor subtract, I shall suppose the universe guided by an Intelligence which, as Aristotle said of Greek drama, requires a beginning, a middle and an end. I think this will save me from the cynicism expressed by Bertrand Russell before his death, when he said: “There is no splendor, no vastness anywhere, only triviality for a moment, and then nothing.” (Watch “Planet Earth” or a video from the Discovery Institute to remind you that there is a Designer, and He is God.)
  3. I shall not fall into the falsehood that this day, or any day, is merely another ambiguous and plodding twenty four hours, but rather a unique event filled, if I so wish, with worthy potentialities. I shall not be fool enough to suppose that trouble and pain are wholly evil parentheses in my existence but just as likely ladders to be climbed toward moral and spiritual manhood. (Are you in the trouble and pain portion in your journey toward manhood and womanhood? Relish this place and delight in what God might have for you today.)
  4. I shall not turn my life into a thin straight line which prefers abstractions to reality. I shall know what I am doing when I abstract, which of course I shall often have to do. (An abstraction, as Piper explains it, would be to lump all trees together into one category of tree. Whereas to think concretely would be to see and savor a particular tree that you climbed when you were a child, or that your child delights to play in , or one that displays the beauty of fall in an amazing way.)

More resolutions in the next two days. Part 2 here, Part 3 here.

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