Listenings: Marvelous Variety

Marvelous variety marks the first creation.  I have never seen an estimate of the number of different plants, flowers, animals, birds, fish, etc, etc.  I Imagine the number would easily be in the millions.

Marvelous variety also marks God’s new creation.  It makes no sense to think that the God who created immense variety in the natural creation would turn around and create a “one-size-fits-all” spirituality in the supernatural creation.

Evelyn Underhill points to this spiritual variety in words I simply want to post here for your reflection….

There are countless ways in which this may happen: sometimes under conditions which seem to the world like the very frustrations of life, of progress, of growth.  Thus boundless initiative is chained to a sick bed and transmuted into sacrifice; the lover of beauty is sent to serve in the slum, the lover of stillness is kept on the run all day, the sudden demand to leave all comes when one least expects it, and through and in these apparent frustrations the life of the spirit emerges and grows.  So, those who imagine that they are called to contemplation because they are attracted by contemplation, when the common duties of existence steadily block this path, do well to realise that our own feelings and preferences are very poor guides when it come to the realities and demands of the Spirit.  (p. 32-33).

God does not give us all the same kind of spiritual life.  God gives us grace to live in whatever form of it we are called to embrace.  Just as no person has the same fingerprints as another, no two of us will have a spiritual life that is exactly the same.  You are part of God’s marvelous variety!

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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