Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Taking Things with Gratitude and not for Granted

I haven’t asked for permission but I am giving full credit here to Oz Guinness and his book, The Call. Here are a couple of excerpts from chapter 23. At Thanksgiving time I think they are very appropriate.

“…In his Notes from underground in 1864, Dostoevsky wrote of humanity, ‘“If he is not stupid, he is monstrously ungrateful! Phenomenally ungrateful. In fact, I believe that the best definition of man is the ungrateful biped.”’ Albert Camus wrote similarly, ‘“Man’s first faculty is forgetting.”’ More recently novelist Milan Dundera attacked the Marxist censorship of history as “organized forgetting.” Ingratitude and forgetfulness are ultimately moral rather than mental; they are the direct expression of sin. No culture has nourished such tendencies as consistently as ours. We pride ourselves on being autonomous, self-creating and freestanding. A modern world with no need of God produces modern people with no sense of gratitude…”

“…Thus at the very heart of the modern world is the almost complete absence of dependency and indebtedness and a corresponding reinforcement of forgetfulness and ingratitude. Abraham Lincoln warned his fellow countrymen against this tendency early in the modern world. In 1863 he declared, ‘“We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.”’ Now the problem is universal. ‘“If I were called upon to identify the principal trail of the twentieth century,”’ Solzhenitsyn declared, ‘“men have forgotten God.”’ Or as Bart Simpson, America’s favorite cartoon kid, put it baldly when asked to say grace at supper time, ‘“Dear God, we pay for all this ourselves. So thanks for nothing….”’

1Corinithians 4:7 - What do we have that we did not receive?

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