Complete

Complete: (v) to finish making or doing

And Alexander “wept because there were no more worlds to conquer”–a sentiment, I’m sure, shared by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Then there were a bunch of Puritans stepping onto a rock in Massachusetts, having arrived in the New World which they believed would funny wisdom on words that begin with a Ccomplete them–but actually nearly killed them.

It’s the bell that rings at the end of the day, telling us that work is done and dinner is prepared. Simpler times.

Or it is the bell rung at the end of the fight, that lets the beleaguered pugilists know they can stop punching.

It is a silly statement made by a man to a woman before he proposes marriage, claiming that “she completes him.”

It is the advertisement on the box that informs you that all the pieces are included and it is complete (until you discover there are two missing bolts.)

It is Christ hanging on the cross, saying “it is finished,” having already told his disciples hours earlier that his actual ministry was complete by doing the work of loving mankind and passing God’s message onto them.

It is what each of us hopes we will think when we come to the end of our journey.

Rather than sensing regret, we hope we will feel complete.

 

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Antiquity

dictionary with letter AAntiquity: (n) the ancient past, especially the period before the Middle Ages.

Every once in a while, a startling revelation will cross my mind, giving me a sensation similar to standing on the deck of the Santa Maria, spying the New World. Of course, as in the case of Christopher Columbus, nor is it to me.

Truth has been around for a long time and it always has three important ingredients:

  1. It actually works.
  2. It doesn’t hurt anyone else.
  3. It’s not ashamed of the failed experiments leading to greater revelation.

Often when I find myself in a circle of believers who are discussing the Good Book and stories of biblical proportions, my brain freezes, as I wonder why they think these individuals had any greater spirituality than we do.

Actually, if I found myself translated back to antiquity, I’d be walking around as a god with my level of knowledge, in comparison to the fear, superstition and incomplete hypotheses of their time.

If we really believe that spiritual evolution stopped on the Isle of Patmos with John the Apostle, or on the mountain with Mohammed, then we are negating hundreds and hundreds of years of scientific miracles and human growth.

I think the Good Book is exactly that–it’s a good book.

As a good book, it has plot twists, character development, elimination of villains, and the exposure of bizarre ideas, as the story line is pushed along towards what we hope will be a happy ending.

Even though our children have a difficult time imagining Alexander the Great or Cleopatra, when we parallel these individuals with updated versions of our own time–like Kanye West and Kim Kardashian–it’s much easier to see where we’ve come from and possibly where we need to go.

I am not of the belief that any good thing should be thrown away. Generally speaking, I don’t walk out of a movie once I’ve paid my premium price, even if the flick is not to my liking. I try to find something usable.

There is much we can learn from antiquity:

We can learn that superstition cannot shout down science.

We can learn that we are learning, and therefore should never be content in our own level of comprehension.

And we can learn that those who made the history books were once just clumsy, insecure flesh-and-blood creatures … who spent way too much time wondering if they were sexy.

 

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Abernathy

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abernathy:  Ralph David (1926-90).  U.S. minister and civil rights activist. He served as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) from 1968-1977. His autobiography, And the Walls Came Tumbling Down, was published in 1989.

Mr. Abernathy grew up believing, or at least being told, that he was a “nigger.” It was an era when people didn’t consider the word to be particularly derogatory, nor did they refer to it as the “n word.”

What often surprises me about great men and women of history is not so much that they did great things, but rather, the obstacles they had to overcome to forgive the world around them of ignorance so that greatness could be pursued.

How many times did someone call Abraham Lincoln a scrawny, backwoods lawyer? How many times did Alexander get criticized before somebody figured out he was Great? How many times did FDR wonder if he was just insane for trying to lead the free world from a wheelchair? And how many times did Jesus Christ have to be called a sinner before he got the opportunity to save sinners?

That’s what impresses me.

Mr. Abernathy, how did you survive the meanness of your world and come up with enough grace to continue to struggle, love and outlast the insanity to see “the walls tumble down?”

People of history are not beyond my understanding. They all have one thing in common–they knew how to turn down the noise.