An Admirable Life-18-Genius

 "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."

                ——John 12:24,25


   The existence of God necessitates the creation of Man. If there is not God Man is unnecessary.

   At the same time, it must be said the failure of man is not the death of God. God exists independent of Creation, which thing itself cannot exist apart from its Creator. The pollution of the greater Creation by the human portion does not soil the Creator.

   Genius is proof of God's existence. Genius is quite the evidence of God Man insists he must see in order to believe. The presence of sin in Man stains genius but cannot quite kill it, any more than a noisy anti-theist actually destroys God.

   Genius in humans is the ability to sense God's grace with enthusiasm. Self-absorption is the option of the beast. The beast-in-man must die to give birth to that one who will serve the wretched of the earth. Except the grain of seed fall into the earth and die, it remains only a single seed. But, if it dies, it can become many seeds.

   The most outrageous statement of Christian faith is this: to have eternal life requires timely self-hatred. The last thing a sane man wants to do is hate himself. Yet, he knows he ought to hate the things he thinks. His lusts, his lies, his prides are all his sins. His sins fill all his days. He makes God's temple a den of thieves with his pullulating animalistic desires.  Still, he loves his life as it is today. Eternity is something he cannot imagine. Today is often too big for him. The idea of forever makes him fear madness.

   How does a man hate his own life in this world and yet remain sane? He joins the religious tradition that tries to rescue Man, to keep Man from himself, so that he (Man) is saved to God.

If God is real,

If sin is strong,

if humankind be flawed,

No one can say he serves a Man

Who does not keep him from himself

And so save him to God.

—–Original Poem


   Genius is the constantly renewable element in Man's experience of God. Other elements are permanent and stable. Genius is germinative. The genius cannot be the sycophant. Genius cannot be complacent. Genius is seminal.

   The dull brute is an opportunist gnawed by fear. He wages war against a numberless foe, falls in his weariness and dies defeated. Genius waits upon the Lord, so renew his strength. He mounts up with eagle's wings. Genius soars. 

   Since genius renews itself in God, because genius kills its own isolation to give life to the community, genius must be seen to resist oppressive human forces. 

   In Pakistan, a woman is repeatedly assaulted as part of a criminal verdict against her brother. She is supposed to kill herself afterward to assuage her family's honor. Instead, one woman sues the government. She wins, is "pardoned" and she receives a small financial settlement. She does not use the money to flee the country. She stays and uses her money to build a school. This is genius: self-sacrificing death to self, defying the innumerable adversaries to push back the borders of darkness.

   An admirable life should have genius at its core.




Opinions expressed here are mine alone.




8 thoughts on “An Admirable Life-18-Genius”

  1. RD,
    I just got back from a weekend in South Florida with Cathy. It may be March or April for my Brock visit. Even though my time with you constitutes as a prayer retreat/mentoring session, which the church requires me to do, I need to space out my time away. Look at your calendar for March and April dates. We can firm something up soon.
    Do you want me to come up with the book list this time?

  2. Do not quite understand the poetry, yet…but this: ‘The most outrageous statement of Christian faith is this: to have eternal life requires timely self-hatred.’ this is genius.

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