Saturday, October 18, 2008

Same Old Thing

"The horror of the Same Old Thing", wrote Screwtape, "is one of the most valuable passions we have produced in the human heart-an endless source of heresies in religion, folly in counsel, infidelity in marriage, and inconstancy in friendship."
Yes, and furthermore, impulsiveness.
I once read somewhere that one characteristic of a sociopath is an enormous capacity for repetition.
This has always comforted me by extinguishing any fear that I, despite possessing certain aspects of your common sociopath, white, male, late bed-wetter, nevertheless escape the profile by virtue of the fact that I am nothing if not a creature of irregularity.
Blind hasty exodus from one vice invariably leads you to bump into yet another, but I am sure a penchant for harmless sporadic obsession ranks lower on the scale than that of serial murder.
Habit is for people who find no joy in life, I tell myself as I eat a little more than usual, forgo shaving (how d'you like me now, UPS) or choose to sing the special song before leading the congregational (an exception that is fast becoming my rule).
Any given member of my family can testify to my distaste for routine.
Music stands as a shining example. Any given artist, genre, or sub-genre is subject to my fixation, as well as my shunning, when I invariably over-indulge to the point of indigestion and swear off.
Now, mind you, I've yet to become a groupie, but the horror of the Same Old Thing is synonymous in my book with the love of obsession.
How this relates to my walk with God should be all too obvious.
Now, in a sense, this can or should contribute to a healthy balance.
Devotional life should be habitual, yet not.
We are created to experience change and growth but a lack of maturity that many of us suffer until the point of death can and does lead to a lack of discipline that parlays, with the aid of laziness, the penchant for the new into an easy neglect of the old and needful, as our mind wanders from the measurements of the temple curtains or our prayerfully closed eyes drift into the land of Winkem, Blinkem and Nod.
The reward for keeping the faith, fighting the good fight, running the race is the natural result of disinclined troopers struggling against their own nature. It is the very struggle that purifies.


Dee said...

Good insight.

So, what I want to know is this,

"Do you get "more points" if you have to "struggle" harder than others? By others, I mean the creatures of habit who never have to struggle because their very nature relishes routine?"

(If you do, I may win this game! Ah-hah! Finally a prize for the strugglers!)

Nathan Carpenter said...

Without question, more points are awarded to the struggler.
Points are awarded to habitual people only when they deviate from their routine.