Commonplace {Walking on Water}

Notes from Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle:

  • That which is impossible and probable is better than that which is possible and improbable. ~ Aristotle p.15
  • Generally what is more important than getting water-tight answers is learning to ask the right questions. p.15
  • God is always calling on us to do the impossible. It helps me to remember that anything Jesus did during his life here on earth is something we should be able to do, too…If Jesus of Nazareth was God become truly man for us, as I believe he was, then we should be able to walk on water, to heal the sick, even to accept the Father’s answer to our prayers when it is not the answer that we hope for, when it is No. p.19
  • …as though faith were something which lay within the realm of verification. If it can be verified, we don’t need faith. p.22
  • But a God who allows no pain, no grief, also allows no choice…We human beings have been given the terrible gift of free will and this ability to make choices, to help write our own story, is what makes us human, even when we make the wrong choices, abusing our freedom and the freedom of others. p.25-26
  • You must once and for all give up being worried about successes and failures. Don’t let that concern you. It’s your duty to go on working steadily day by day, quite quietly, to be prepared for mistakes, which are inevitable and for failures. ~ Tchekov p.33
  • In a very real sense not one of us is qualified, but it seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do his work, to bear his glory. If we are qualified, we tend to think that we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there’s no danger that we will confuse God’s work with our own, or God’s glory with our own. p.62
  • All of life is a story, story unraveling and revealing meaning. Despite our inability to control circumstances, we are given the gift of being free to respond to them in our own way, creatively or destructively. p.105
  • We do not draw people to Christ by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it. If our our lives are truly ‘hid with Christ in God,’ the astounding thing is that this hiddenness is revealed in all that we do and say and write. p. 122
  • Far too often today children are taught, both in school and at home, to equate truth with fact. If we can’t understand something and dissect it with our conscious minds, then it isn’t true. In our anxiety to limit ourselves to that which we can comprehend definitively, we are losing all that is above, beyond, below, through, past, over that small area encompassed by our conscious minds. p.139
  • To pray is to listen also, to move through my own chattering to God, to that place where I can be silent and listen to what god may have to say. But, if I pray only when I feel like it, God may now choose to speak. The greatest moments of prayer come in the midst of fumbling and faltering prayer, rather than the odd moment when one decides to turn to God. p.149
  • One act of thanksgiving made when things go wrong is worth a thousand when things go well. ~ John of the Cross p.156

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