Interesting Conversation

Dietrich and I had an interesting conversation this afternoon between church and our area meeting that eventually brought in the entire family.

Here's how it began:

Dietrich: I'm kind of proud of going to state. Is it wrong to be proud of yourself?

Me: Hmmmm ... that's a tricky question. It's fine to be proud in one way but not in another. If you're proud of your accomplishments because you think they makes you better than other people, then that is wrong. Everything we have that allows us to accomplish the things we do is a gift from God, so to be proud of what we are able to do with those gifts and think it makes us better than other people who have different gifts is wrong and even somewhat silly. But it's also wrong to be pretend that you don't care about what you accomplish or to try to make yourself not enjoy your accomplishments. They do come, after all, from God's good gifts. And, even though your accomplishments don't make you who you are, they are a part of who are. So most people spend their whole lives trying to figure out how to think the right way about their accomplishments.

Dietrich: So it's kind of like a life long math problem.

Me: Well, no. It's more like a lifelong poem. Most math problems only have one right answer. But there can be lots of different good poems about trees and lots of different bad poems about trees. Trying to figure out these things in life is more like trying to write a good poem than it is like trying to solve a math problem.

Then I remembered that Michael Card had a song called "The Poem of Your Life." Lo and behold! The song is on YouTube! God bless YouTube.

Homeschool father that I am, I took the opportunity to tell all the kids what a metaphor was and how Michael Card was suggesting that life was like a poem. Then we listened for the other metaphors for life in the song and everyone identified one.

Here's the song:

(PS - I know the difference between a simile and a metaphor but I despise the distinction. It's a formal one and far removed from the real power of poetic association and lies beneath.)


Jan said...

Ahhh...Michael Card. What a gift his gifts have been to me! As soon as you mentioned life being something like a poem I thought of this song and was delighted as I read on that you did, too. I've just finished listening to it (5 times); it always gives me such hope and an excitement about life-the good and the hard parts of it. Regarding the subject that Dietrich brought up, the introduction of Phil Keagy by Michael Card perhaps touched on one of the results of handling a gift from God with humility:others are not intimidated but are inspired to be creative with their own gifts.

Bill Reinhardt said...

Great post! It inspired me to read that section on Pride in "Mere Christianity"-- your response reminded me of C.S. Lewis' ideas about pride starting with the last paragraph of this page.

JPB said...

Great link, Bill!!!

Every time I think I have a good thought, I usually find out I read it in C.S. Lewis 10 years ago.

My class was really struggling with how we 'know' truth after reading Descartes and Montaigne so this year I gave them C.S. Lewis's essay, "On Obstinancy in Belief." Most good thoughts and behaviors involving loving others come from the Holy Spirit, THE FOUR LOVES and TILL WE HAVE FACES.

I can't wait to meet him.

I would say the same thing of Michael Card if I hadn't already met him :-)

I always kick myself that I haven't yet gotten his works on CD. I'm afraid they'll be out of print soon.

Jodi said...

I like Dietrich's response that it is like a math problem: frustrating and difficult to figure out. Oh the joy when you realize that it doesn't have to be this way...that life is more of a poem.