challenge, day 12: i believe

The publisher said of somebody, "That man will get on; he believes in himself." And I remember that as I lifted my head to listen, my eye caught an omnibus on which was written "Hanwell." I said to him, "Shall I tell you where the men are who believe most in themselves? For I can tell you. I know of men who believe in themselves more colossally than Napoleon or Caesar. I know where flames the fixed star of certainty and success. I can guide you to the thrones of the Super-men. The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums." He said mildly that there were a good many men after all who believed in themselves and who were not in lunatic asylums. "Yes, there are," I retorted, "and you of all men ought to know them. That drunken poet from whom you would not take a dreary tragedy, he believed in himself. That elderly minister with an epic from whom you were hiding in a back room, he believed in himself. If you consulted your business experience instead of your ugly individualistic philosophy, you would know that believing in himself is one of the commonest signs of a rotter. Actors who can't act believe in themselves; and debtors who won't pay. It would be much truer to say that a man will certainly fail, because he believes in himself. Complete self-confidence is not merely a sin; complete self-confidence is a weakness. Believing utterly in one's self is a hysterical and superstitious belief...
--Chesterton, Orthodoxy

i thought of chesterton as soon as i read today's theme.  if you have not previously read Chesterton, you should.  you can read the rest of that chapter, "the maniac", at page by page books.  anyway, he talks of people who believe in themselves as insane and, concurrently, great reasoners (albeit great reasoners in a tiny circle).  they are sharpened to "one painful point", that is, their madness.  unfortunately, their world is so small!  they "have at once the sense of it covering everything and the sense of it leaving everything out".  i do not believe in myself because i simply don't know enough.

The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic. He has permitted the twilight. He has always had one foot in earth and the other in fairyland. He has always left himself free to doubt his gods; but (unlike the agnostic of to-day) free also to believe in them. He has always cared more for truth than for consistency. If he saw two truths that seemed to contradict each other, he would take the two truths and the contradiction along with them. His spiritual sight is stereoscopic, like his physical sight: he sees two different pictures at once and yet sees all the better for that. Thus he has always believed that there was such a thing as fate, but such a thing as free will also. Thus he believed that children were indeed the kingdom of heaven, but nevertheless ought to be obedient to the kingdom of earth. He admired youth because it was young and age because it was not. It is exactly this balance of apparent contradictions that has been the whole buoyancy of the healthy man. The whole secret of mysticism is this: that man can understand everything by the help of what he does not understand. The morbid logician seeks to make everything lucid, and succeeds in making everything mysterious. The mystic allows one thing to be mysterious, and everything else becomes lucid.
--Chesterton, Orthodoxy

that is the pontificated way of saying i believe in God.

i believe he loves me and i am forgiven and that everything around me declares his existence.  i believe that the bible is the infallible word of God and that his son Jesus was one hundred percent God and one hundred percent man.  i believe i am sinful and broken but that my ransom has been paid and i can live eternally with him.  i believe that the fact that he did all this is reason enough for me to pay attention to what he wants done on this earth through me, and reason enough to do it.

and, since this may or may not have been intended as a theological soap box...

i believe in discipline.

i believe that it is possible to love the sinner and hate the sin.

i believe in cleaning up behind yourself, and leaving things better than you found them.

i believe in laughing at yourself.

i believe in hard work and not buying on credit.  ever.

i believe in the power of prayer.

i believe that bacon is an excellent part of anyone's diet.

i believe that love is a choice and that it doesn't always come naturally.

i believe God made EVERY person with traits that are useful for his kingdom... even when they're irritating me.

i believe in rest!

i believe that positive thinking changes everything.

i believe that one should remain loyal to their sports teams in good and bad times.

i believe in submission to the man of the house.

i believe in life before death.

and i believe that blogging is therapeutic.  
especially today.

1 comment:

  1. "i believe God made EVERY person with traits that are useful for his kingdom... even when they're irritating me." cracked me up... only because i could totally think of people that we went to school with... a certain girl whose name begins with T... so true though.