Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Agreement/Disagreement (01/19/12)
TITLE: A Walk in the Park
By Hiram Claudio
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So much has been written about the beauty of creation; about the majesty of the mighty Oak or the quiet simplicity from the shade of an Elm as it sits by a still pond. Amazing splendor can also be seen in a nest of Robins as they chirp loudly, awaiting mother’s return with food. Or to eye a young fawn as she takes her first steps onto a sunny clearing, mother encouraging her yet remaining watchful and on guard.
Yes, there’s a true beauty to all of it. But I find this beauty’s most profound quality is that I see a clear order. Nature is full of many moving parts; players that have their role in the great and ever unfolding challenge that is our daily existence. Often these roles naturally create adversaries, predator-prey relationships form. Yet this is all part of the epic design that is the careful arrangement of these individual pieces; all producing a ‘whole’ that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
But if you stop to truly notice it, you find more than beauty and order. For the reason these exist is because there is also … harmony. Each piece remains committed to being what it was created to be. Yet, it also lends itself to a natural anthology; a collection of individual works of brilliance that together form a masterpiece. What label could be more fitting than to call these scenes … harmony?
In addition to harmonizing, these pieces do something else. They concede to the supremacy that is their collective existence. To concede; this term receives much bad press in our day. We tend to view concession as caving or giving in. We associate conceding with weakness or an inability to stand firm in some way. This is unfortunate. A glance at any English dictionary would reveal ‘to concede’ simply means to acknowledge something as truth, to yield to it.
In short, concession is acknowledging a truth greater than us. We may not be happy about it. We may wish it were different. But to truly ‘concede’ is to yield to the fact that the truth exists independent of our hopes or desires. The young deer probably is not thrilled at the truth that a tiger is its natural predator. But it can live only when it concedes to that truth and behaves accordingly. To defy or ignore it would invite disaster.
Our lives are not that different. We too are brilliant works, elements to be used in the Creator’s epic masterpiece. And like other created things, our ability to walk in beauty depends on whether or not we choose to … harmonize and concede. We each need to find that place deep within that allows us to lend our uniqueness to the overall work the Master is forming. We are each vibrant and amazing colors to be used on His palette. But the finished work is His, not ours. He is the painter, we are the paint.
Similarly, we need to lead lives that model concession as it relates to the Lord. I’m aware this word raises thoughts of surrendering one’s individuality. But that’s a lie. Conceding is not giving up who you are but admitting who you aren’t. It is acknowledging who He is, that He is a greater truth, and has a purpose greater than anything native to our limited perspectives.
All blue paint can see is blue. It takes the master artist to take all the colors and create a work of art. All the violin can see is itself. But it takes the master conductor to bring it together, with other instruments, in a way that results in a symphony, allowing them all to work ‘in concert’ with one another.
I hope you enjoyed the walk! Now once you return home, open any dictionary you have and look up the verb ‘agree.’ There you’ll find definitions that include ‘to harmonize’ and to be ‘in concert’ with. You’ll also find ‘to concede.’ Only when we agree with the greater truth found in Christ, and walk accordingly, can we find a lasting peace within, and joyfully participate in the masterpiece He is forming with each new day.
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