Monday, August 23, 2010

to stand...

Among the many sayings ubiquitous in AA (and elsewhere) is "Let Go and Let God."  Like most sayings, its meaning to any individual person at any given time may change.  It came to my mind this morning reading George Putnam's Sermon, "CHRISTIAN MANLINESS-DOING AND STANDING." (manliness would, of course, in this context have been a non-gender virtue...)

"And having done all, to stand." — Ephesians vi. 13.

We have presented here, in the text, one phase, and that a most comprehensive one, of the manly character, according to his conception of it. We will hold it up to our own view a while, if possibly by the contemplation of it we may rise up and grow into a better appreciation of it.

Having done all, to stand. Putting these words into a fitting paraphrase, the Apostle seems to say to us : Do your best in any matter which you have to do with, and then calmly abide the issue. Use your best faculties and your best light, to get at the truth in matters that concern you, and having done that in all diligence and good faith, respect your own convictions, declare them boldly, and abide by them firmly. Do your whole duty in any exigency, and then keep yourself clear of all nervous anxiety about the consequences. Perform your part in any work that falls to you, and tranquilly leave the rest to God. Secure a good conscience, make as sure as you can of the right, and having secured that, plant yourself on it, take your stand upon it, set down your foot and hold up your head, unconcerned as to what may come of it,—unmoved, unshaken, come of it what will. This is the interpretation of the text, and if we consider it well, and make full application of it to actual life, I do not see but it exhibits pretty fully the style of manliness that we would cultivate and acquire. We do not always analyze it, or name it, but we do always render homage to it when we see it; we feel the dignity of it, and see that it constitutes a grand superiority among men, makes a man verily a man, and that is a great character to attain to, and a rare one, too, in its completeness. We see nothing better than approximations to it, falling short of our idea, indeed, yet complete and noble enough to inspire reverence and excite emulation."


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