So Chained

“So bound in selfishness am I, so chained,

I know it must be glorious to be free

But know not what, full-fraught, the word doth mean.

By loss on loss I have severely gained

Wisdom enough my slavery to see;

But liberty, pure, absolute, serene,

No freëst-visioned slave has ever seen.”

George MacDonald, The Diary of an Old Soul

How interesting that the things we feel are chains that bind are often our very gateways to freedom… Why is it always said we must die to live? And that he that would rule many must first learn to serve? Any kind of self discipline is like this. The process of the discipline is hard, and often we don’t see the good fruits of our labors for years after. But once we are there at the end of the day, with our labors so laid out we can see them in hindsight, our heart finds peace and joy at the wonderful outcome of our long labors.

Conversely, some of the things we hardly feel as binding at all, but really appear to us as “freedoms,” grow up stealthily from the tiny threads of whim, to chains of steel about our necks- chains that would choke out the very life and spirit of our own souls. And these we do not hardly recognize at first sight, and in the end once their weight is felt, we are drugged so by their poison that we cannot hardly even rouse ourselves to seek deliverance.

It is truly said that things are not always as they appear, and some deeper sight is necessary to finding the truth in life, and the joy of existence.

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Wake His Soul

“Tis hard for man to rouse his spirit up—

It is the human creative agony,

Though but to hold the heart an empty cup,

Or tighten on the team the rigid rein.

Many will rather lie among the slain

Than creep through narrow ways the light to gain—

Than wake the will, and be born bitterly.

But he who would be born again indeed,

Must wake his soul unnumbered times a day,

And urge himself to life with holy greed;

Now ope his bosom to the Wind’s free play;

And now, with patience forceful, hard, lie still,

Submiss and ready to the making will,

Athirst and empty, for God’s breath to fill.”

–George MacDonald,

The Diary of an Old Soul

My Heart’s Life

No place on earth henceforth I shall count strange,

For every place belongeth to my Christ.

I will go calm where’er thou bid’st me range;

Whoe’er my neighbour, thou art still my nighest.

Oh my heart’s life, my owner, will of my being!

Into my soul thou every moment diest,

In thee my life thus evermore decreeing.

– George MacDonald

A Strange Hopefulness

Give me, take from me, as thou wilt. I learn—

Slowly and stubbornly I learn to yield

With a strange hopefulness. As from the field

Of hard-fought battle won, the victor chief

Turns thankfully, although his heart do yearn,

So from my old things to thy new I turn,

With sad, thee-trusting heart, and not in grief.

–George MacDonald

Love is Life

“But love is life. To die of love is then

The only pass to higher life than this.

All love is death to loving, living men;

All deaths are leaps across clefts to the abyss.

Our life is the broken current, Lord, of thine,

Flashing from morn to morn with conscious shine—

Then first by willing death self-made, then life divine.”

Excerpt From

A Book of Strife in the Form of The Diary of an Old Soul

George MacDonald

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-book-of-strife-in-the-form-of-the-diary-of-an-old-soul/id499797732?mt=11

This material may be protected by copyright.

More Help

My God, it troubles me I am not better.

More help, I pray, still more. Thy perfect debtor

I shall be when thy perfect child I am grown.

My Father, help me—am I not thine own?

Lo, other lords have had dominion o’er me,

But now thy will alone I set before me:

Thy own heart’s life—Lord, thou wilt not abhor me! — George MacDonald

In honour of Hal Owen

Heir of Earth and Heaven

With thee on board, each sailor is a king

Nor I mere captain of my vessel then,

But heir of earth and heaven, eternal child;

Daring all truth, nor fearing anything;

Mighty in love, the servant of all men;

Resenting nothing, taking rage and blare

Into the Godlike silence of a loving care.

I cannot see, my God, a reason why

From morn to night I go not gladsome free;

For, if thou art what my soul thinketh thee,

There is no burden but should lightly lie,

No duty but a joy at heart must be:

Love’s perfect will can be nor sore nor small,

For God is light—in him no darkness is at all.

Tis something thus to think, and half to trust—

But, ah! my very heart, God-born, should lie

Spread to the light, clean, clear of mire and rust,

And like a sponge drink the divine sunbeams.

What resolution then, strong, swift, and high!

What pure devotion, or to live or die!

And in my sleep, what true, what perfect dreams!

Excerpt From

A Book of Strife in the Form of The Diary of an Old Soul

George MacDonald

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-book-of-strife-in-the-form-of-the-diary-of-an-old-soul/id499797732?mt=11

This material may be protected by copyright.