That Quiet Spirit

Why should not a man be happy when he is growing old, so long as his faith strengthens the feeble knees which chiefly suffer in the process of going down the hill? True, the fever heat is over, and the oil burns more slowly in the lamp of life; but if there is less fervour, there is more pervading warmth; if less of fire, more of sunshine; there is less smoke and more light. Verily, youth is good, but old age is better—to the man who forsakes not his youth when his youth forsakes him.

The sweet visitings of nature do not depend upon youth or romance, but upon that quiet spirit whose meekness inherits the earth. The smell of that field of beans gives me more delight now than ever it could have given me when I was a youth. And if I ask myself why, I find it is simply because I have more faith now than I had then. It came to me then as an accident of nature—a passing pleasure flung to me only as the dogs’ share of the crumbs. Now I believe that God means that odour of the bean-field; that when Jesus smelled such a scent about Jerusalem or in Galilee, he thought of his Father. And if God means it, it is mine, even if I should never smell it again.

The music of the spheres is mine if old age should make me deaf as the adder. Am I mystical again, reader? Then I hope you are too, or will be before you have done with this same beautiful mystical life of ours. More and more, nature becomes to me one of God’s books of poetry—not his grandest—that is history—but his loveliest, perhaps.

George MacDonald, The Seaboard Parish, Ch. 12

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Awakening

To think that in the whole course of a life, a man may at last, after many wanderings, creep up an old worn man to his Father’s door – with just strength enough to sit down on the doorsteps, and hardly the strength to knock, and that he will get in and be clothed in youth again – that is worth living for!

George MacDonald – Awakening

I Search Yet More

“Thy mind, my master, I will dare explore;

What we are told, that we are meant to know.

Into thy soul I search yet more and more,

Led by the lamp of my desire and woe.

If thee, my Lord, I may not understand,

I am a wanderer in a houseless land,

A weeping thirst by hot winds ever fanned.”

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

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A Door Out

“I did not come through any door,” I rejoined.

“I saw you come through it!–saw you with my own ancient eyes!” asserted the raven, positively but not disrespectfully.

“I never saw any door!” I persisted.

“Of course not!” he returned; “all the doors you had yet seen–and you haven’t seen many–were doors in; here you came upon a door out! The strange thing to you,” he went on thoughtfully, “will be, that the more doors you go out of, the farther you get in!”

– George MacDonald, Lilith

This one has new meaning for me after hearing Jerry Root and Mark Neal’s 1st lecture in their Neglected CS Lewis Series, and Lewis’s allusions to the mirrors of self.

https://youtu.be/EVMkUNaKr_0

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