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Day 48: Living Daily in Reality: The Mind Understands and Executes the Creator's Will

<5>by Ernest O'Neill

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We're talking about how our personalities seem to have got knocked out of shape. They were made to work from the inside out - from the thoughts and plans of our Creator inside us, but instead they work from the outside in - our minds are always trying to manipulate our circumstances or other people so that they will serve our purposes.

Throughout history statesmen like Churchill or Bismarck often sensed that the great events that mould our nations and our individual lives are controlled by some higher power that brings about results that surprise and bewilder the human beings involved in them. So Bismarck described his leadership and primary motivation as "listening for the footsteps of God"; and Churchill noted how many developments in the lives of nations and individuals depend on events that seem almost accidental in their origins. And the Bible talks about God making his ways known to Moses and his works to the children of Israel, while Jesus explains to his disciples that he has called them friends NOT servants because a servant does not know what his master is doing. Similarly our Maker put us here to give us the chance to acknowledge him and to get to know and understand him by developing the world as he saw best.

We, on the other hand, smile condescendingly at the idea of listening for God's footsteps and try to teach each other how to use our minds to promote our own schemes and plans. Thus our minds become more and more twisted out of their original shapes until eventually we end up playing games with ourselves, other people, and the world of values itself. Often we look at situations, hold up our hands in exasperation and think "what does it matter - whether it goes this way or that !" We feel the whole arbitrariness of whether this company goes bankrupt or that one - whether these people are abandoned or these people are saved. The reason is that our minds are quite neutral instruments that attack or defend whatever they are told to - much like a good lawyer or attorney or defending counsel or prosecutor. Our minds themselves lack direction and have difficulty forming one because they are created to understand and direct our wills rather than to originate plans in a vacuum. The truth is that there's only one person who knows the way this world is meant to work and develop, and that is the one who made it. He gave us minds so that we could freely understand what he has in mind and then explain and infer from that what we and others are to do. Because we're made in our Maker's image we are called to rule and control and fill and subdue the world - but UNDER his guidance and direction.

If a human mind thinks that it made itself and controls its own life as it pleases, it finds itself like a boat without a rudder. The wind blows it wherever it pleases and the boat lacks a stable, consistent course and wanders this way and that while it constantly doubles back on its course. The human mind has operated this way for centuries so that the minds we possess are the results of centuries of breeding along with gene mutations and environmental forces: all of these combine to produce a perverted, twisted instrument that is almost unmanageable. Our Creator allowed this to occur so that we would be able to see for ourselves the effects of his absence and the ineffectiveness of our lives without him. We are his workmanship created in his only son for good works that he has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them, but our minds have become virtually incapable of fulfilling that purpose. Only he himself can destroy their perverted nature and remake us in his Son as we originally were. This is why all our own attempts to bring this about are destined to fail because we're using a damaged instrument to remedy itself.

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