Posted by: nmontague | October 9, 2010

Being refined

I was reading some selections from Gandhi’s “Non-violence during Peace and War.” I found it very enlightening. I love how he explains the difference between what he calls “True non-violence” which is people who are strong and courageous enganging in ahisma or non-violence because of their love for their fellow man compared to the “non-violence of the weak” which are those who use non-violence as a strategy or as a cover for cowardice. In fact Gandhi was disappointed after Independence because he felt the reason India was partitioned rather than stay united was because of the use of weak non-violence. A particularly poignant quote from Gandhi that I read discussed his feelings on the matter:

“It is perhaps wrong to describe my present state of mind as depression. . . . I am not vain enough to think that the Divine purpose can only be fulfilled through me. It is as likely as not that a fitter instrument will be used to carry it out and that I was good enough to represent a weak nation, not a strong one. May it not be that a man purer, more courageous, more far-seeing is wanted for the final purpose? This is all speculation. No one has the capacity to judge God. We are drops in that limitless ocean of mercy.” (Gandhi on Non-violence, p. 75).

He was clearly disappointed that the rest of the people did not have the vision for peace and non-violence that he did. Reflecting on the passage, I dont think the Lord wants one person. I think He wants legions of people working for peace.

Another quote I found interesting is about the responsibilities of a satyagrahi, who is someone who seeks truth through non-violence:

“A satyagrahi cannot wait or delay action till perfect conditions are forthcoming. He will act with whatever material is at hand, purge it of dross, and convert it into pure gold.”(Gandhi on Non-violence, p. 49).

I found this interesting because it tells us to not wait till everything is perfect to do what’s right. Do it right now. Work with what you have and if things aren’t perfect at first, keep working at it. At least that’s what I get out of it. If we want to change the world, we have to work with what we have.

But what do we have? There is one thing we all have: ourselves. And there is one thing that we can all have if we seek it: God’s help.

So we need to start living our lives in line with God’s will and His Eternal truth if we want to really be a positive force in the world. I’ve been trying to seek a greater connection with God lately. I recently started the 40 day and 40 night challenge made by Glenn Beck. Now I know not everyone likes Glenn, but I hope we can put politics aside and take this challenge.

First, seek faith in God. Start by praying on your knees to God everyday. And then look for ways to firmly rely on Him in your life.

Second, Seek hope by seeking the truth in all things. Be honest with yourself and others in your daily conversations. And most importantly be honest with yourself.

Third, preform acts of charity for members of your family (or i suppose with roomates if thats the situation you are in) every week.

I’ve been trying this challenge for the last little while and I am noticing changes in my life. More love. Less anger. My anger seems to have melted away. I still feel like im struggling with my honesty and my charity. But Im impressed by what I’ve seen so far.

Clearly no one is perfect. I know I sure am not. But I think it’s time we start using what we have and letting it be refined into gold. I see a lot of good changes occuring because of this. I think it’s a good first step to help us become freer and purer people. Obviously, it’s not the end of it.

It is said that when Zion is established, it’s citizens will not need to fight because God will fight their battles and protect them. Maybe it’s time we start putting our faith in God and trust Him with our lives.


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