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The Use of a Good Quote

I came across a fantastic quote today while reading and I felt it was worth posting. Now, it’s important to clarify in advance that you should not mistake my enjoyment of a good quote for my approval of a persons lifestyle. You and I both know there are often a myriad of miscues amply wrapped in ingenuousness in each and every person that walks this planet.

That being said, I came across a Lee Atwater quote I enjoyed, mostly because it is decades old and still communicates a truthful thought. A quote attributed to Lee Atwater, likely his most famous, is “Perception is Reality”. I’m sure many of us have helped ourselves to overusing this trite saying. The quote I came across today, however, came at the conclusion of Atwater’s battle with brain cancer that left him confined to a wheelchair the remainder of his life. That quote is as follows:

“My illness helped me to see that what was missing in society is what was missing in me: a little heart, a lot of brotherhood. The ’80s were about acquiring — acquiring wealth, power, prestige. I know. I acquired more wealth, power, and prestige than most. But you can acquire all you want and still feel empty. What power wouldn’t I trade for a little more time with my family? What price wouldn’t I pay for an evening with friends? It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with that truth, but it is a truth that the country, caught up in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay, can learn on my dime. I don’t know who will lead us through the ’90s, but they must be made to speak to this spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society, this tumor of the soul.”

I can’t help but look at those two paragraphs and marvel at how Jesus was able to sum it up in two short sentences.

“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything more important than your soul? – Mark 16:26, NLT.

It’s not a matter of right and wrong as humanity would see it. It’s a matter of right and wrong as God would see it. We are not the culmination of our fulfilled desires and ambitions. We have never been qualified to determine what is good. To surrender to Christ isn’t the surrender of our individuality, but the joining of our individuality to a greater mission of corporate individuality empowered by love and guided by His justness and not our own. The control freak in all of us may resist such a possibility, but not believing in gravity doesn’t make gravity exist any less nor does it disable the power of gravity. God’s existence and His love for us are inseparable and inexhaustible.

Knowing who I am, the mistakes I have made, and the turmoil I may continue to afflict upon my soul makes me relieved… giddy… at the possibility that my salvation comes from the inexhaustible.

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