The Path to Peace

I had the great good fortune to spend Friday night at a fantastic friends house. He hosts a once a month cigar/conversation night and I was able to Sacramento for it. It was a wonderful break in routine and allowed me some perspective as to recent events in my life.

Among the ideas it spawned was the result of a story he told of a recent conference he attended. The speaker spent some time with them, examining Christ’s early life and the sequence of events recorded in the Bible regarding his start as an adult.
What he pointed out was a unique way of looking at that start that tied together a number of other ideas I have wrestled with for a while. Upon coming of age, what is the first thing Jesus does? He goes to the Father to receive His identity. His cousin, John, baptizes him and His Father recognizes Him publically as His own. He receives His true identity.

Then, he goes off and struggles to defend that knowledge. He has to internalize that identity, be tested and strengthen that identity. Jesus then goes off and does some preliminary preaching, but He doesn’t really jump right into full blown ministry. That requires community and, with the calling of the disciples, that is what He seeks.

Only after receiving and acknowledging His true identity, having that knowledge tested and strengthened and entering into a restorative, supportive community does He begin to reach out to others in a significant way, only then are all the pieces in place for Him to take up His life’s work.

From my perspective now, having earned a few white hairs on my chinny chin chin, this is how it must be. How many guys do you know, it’s almost a caricature, who graduate high school and don’t know who they are, so they seek to answer that question either through some vocation or in the arms of some young girl?

The instinct isn’t entirely wrong. You have to try your hand at a few things sometimes, to see if they are or are not for you. But that process should not replace knowledge of WHO and WHOSE you are. Who you are is never What you do.

I am finally coming to the point in my own life where I can say in complete honesty that what I do on any given day is far less important than who God says I am. And, who I am in relationship with, whether a long standing one or a casual lunch conversation with a stranger, is also much more important than what I do. It is only lastly that what I do on a given day is important…after what is really important has occurred.


About cptcaveman

An Army Major, my family and I are in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. We enjoy photography, cooking, reading and outdoor sports like hunting, fishing and trapping.
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4 Responses to The Path to Peace

  1. aleph says:

    Letter from Jim Forest at the Catholic Worker – that my article on the War Madness is published and that there will be controversy about it. That everyone has gone crazy, building fallout shelters and preparing to shoot their neighbours. Whole towns preparing to defend themselves against neighbouring towns. What do the Russians need with bombs at all? Just get a false alarm going and we will all shoot each other up without giving them further trouble! A nice testimony to democracy and individualism!

    I came across this as I was reading tonight and thought of you.
    It is Thos Merton writing in 1961 and I put it here for no particular reason other than I did not want it on the front page

    • cptcaveman says:

      Considering the history of the survivalist movement of the time period, he isnt far wrong. One of the things I have absolutely adopted from Jack Spirko over at is the idea that everything one does in regard to preparing for survival should benefit you, wether things go South or even if they dont. For example, getting out of debt is key to being able to survive an economic collapse…but it benefits me even if the economy takes off like a rocket. Same with producing some of my own food or energy or drinking water or whatever.

      Another thing Ive stolen from John Robb over at among many other places is the idea that we are intended to live in a relatively small (less than 100) community. The idea of the lone wolf survivalist just doesnt logically play out.

      • aleph says:

        good points – thank you

        PS do you want to update your front page from learning Dari to French. (pardon the pedant in me)

      • cptcaveman says:

        LOL…yeah, Im just to dang busy. I take the DLPT (proficiency test) for Dari on Tuesday, it wont be enough to get me to pass the course, but the test results will show up on my official record, so it can be seen I have studied the language. Assuming I pass French and cant head out to Nepal early, I plan to audit the Hindi course here from Nov-Apr and take that test as well, just to see how I do.

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