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About Facing Glory

I am learning that it takes time to see God's glory. It is always there, but when I write I tend to look for it more. And so I write this blog. It's simple, thoughtful and a glimpse of the journey I'm on. I enjoy hearing your ideas, so comment freely.
Love, Lindsay

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Thomas Moore : To live ordinary life artfully is to have this sensibility about the things in daily life, to live more intuitively and to be willing to surrender a measure of our rationality and control in return for gifts of the soul.

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Timshel

I just finished reading Steinbeck's East of Eden. I must say that it is quite an extraordinary novel with a lot of profound insight on the trappings and freedoms of humanity.
The novel was woven together with a common thread of generational sin. Steinbecks work not only relays the story of Cain and Abel, but he puts flesh and feeling to a story discussed for over a thousand years. I would like to share an enlightening excerpt and if you would like to see more context, you can read a few pages worth at http://www.timshel.org/timshel.php

Lee’s hand shook as he filled the delicate cups. He drank his down in one gulp. “Don’t you see?” he cried. “The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin, and you can call sin ignorance. The King James translation makes a promise in ‘Thou shalt,’ meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.’ Don’t you see?”

“Yes, I see. I do see. But you do not believe this is divine law. Why do you feel its importance?”

“Ah!” said Lee. “I’ve wanted to tell you this for a long time. I even anticipated your questions and I am well prepared. Any writing which has influenced the thinking and the lives of innumerable people is important. Now, there are many millions in their sects and churches who feel the order, ‘Do thou,’ and throw their weight into obedience. And there are millions more who feel predestination in ‘Thou shalt.’ Nothing they may do can interfere with what will be. But ‘Thou mayest’! Why, that makes a man great, that gives him stature with the gods, for in his weakness and his filth and his murder of his brother he has still the great choice. He can choose his course and fight it through and win.” Lee’s voice was a chant of triumph.


There is such beauty in this truth. Honestly, I could go on for hours about this one single concept in the novel. However, I found a wonderful article that very articulately explains Steinbeck's reference to this Hebrew word and the greater context of this idea.

http://www.timshellfarm.com/Timshel_Thou_Mayest.html

In light of Steinbeck's explanation, keep in mind that in the Jewish form of teaching, they do not look for iron-clad rulings on the true meaning of a text as we do in western thinking. This definition of Timsh'l is accepted by some, but others may have an equally logical application of this same chapter of the Bible. This does not make the text fallible, but rather, displays that it is alive.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

Despite all of what could hold us down to sin and despair in life, there is this life giving truth to remember...'Thou mayest!'...'Timshel!' God has made a beautiful way for his children. Icons of freedom surround us in this country and we can let them remind us that we may indeed rule over sin if we choose to do so.

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