My mind is always wandering and full of ideas – fruitful and useless. One of the excercises in my writing course was called Free Writing – I must write three pages without pausing or reviewing. This I found very difficult and hve not attempted it since. Howeve three pages take about one hour, which is how long I have until the train reaches Berwick so here goes.
My uniform tie is beginning to annoy me, but decorum requires that I keep it on. How useful is decorum? Is it scriptural? Jesus was always challenging the legalists who felt that outward observance was of prime importance. Yet some would argue that with accepted norms of behavior, our society would break down. I'm not convinced this is true – but I guess social customs are a reasonable attempt to deal with our failure to obey the golden rule. Until we learn to "do as we would be done by", some guidance to acceptable behaviour is required.
Jesus focussed on the positive side of behaviour, challenging us to live better; indeed he ccalled us to "be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect." Paul, on the other hand frequently had to rebuke his readers for their ungodly behaviour. Not much has changed. Indeed, it seems that as we have grown more affluent, we have grown more self-righteous, at least in thed sense of defining our own righteousness. We have also swapped our acceptance of suffering for an expectation of happiness. Yet even in the secular worldview, many admit that those who seek happiness will never find it; rather it will be found by those who seek to do good to others.