Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Few Minutes with Oswald #2

In today's selection, Chambers says,

"Beware of thinking that the areas of your life where you have experienced victory in the past are now the least likely to cause you to stumble and fall."


"The Bible characters stumbled over their strong points, never their weak ones."

While reading the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (stalled out around the halfway point), I found that he had a long term - lifetime - project of instilling in himself a number of desired virtues, and subtracting his vices from his life. He would focus on one virtue until he felt he had acquired it, then move to the next on his list. Yes, an actual handwritten list.

While I've never quite gone to that extent, which may surprise those who know me well enough to have seen first hand what an obsessed list-maker I am, I've slowly over the course of time eliminated a number of foolish behaviors, and tried to encourage the tiny seedlings of virtuous ones to grow and root deeply in my lifestyle, with varying levels of success. Without digressing too far, it's interesting that the things most folks regard as sins - sins of the flesh - are far easier to conquer than bad habits of thought - sins of the mind or heart.

So, I have to view Oswald's observations with a sense of trepidation. It would be very upsetting to be tripped up by some horrid habit I thought long vanquished. I pray it isn't so.

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