All I’m Asking For

Some days I have this window of time to read. The 19-month-old settles into her nap, the wife is somewhere, doing something, and I can finally sit on my fainting couch and apply the full focus of my mind to the ink on the page. Some days. Today was one of those days.

The coffee was wonderful. The reading even better.

The climax of these days is a moment when I know time is almost up, when I feel the caffeine buzz is at its peak, and when the clock tells me if I start right now, then I can probably squeeze out a post before the pacifier hits the floor.

As usual, I started with the Bible. Today was some backwards reading of Ezekiel. Starting at the end and reading to the beginning of a section can be a tool to help bring the familiar pages to life. It worked. I came across a beautiful confession by Yahweh.

‘As I live!’ declares Lord Yahweh, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways!’

Then I opened Hegel. The portion of his Philosophy of Right that I’m on is section 273, where he is detailing his view of the separation of powers. “The development of the state to constitutional monarchy is the achievement of the modern world…” he begins. Distasteful, I know. But then he brings forth an anecdote, as follows.

“It is true enough that in quite simple social conditions these differences of constitutional form [monarchy, aristocracy, democracy] have little or no meaning. For instance, in the course of his legislation Moses prescribed that, in the event of his people’s desiring a king, its institutions should remain unchanged except for the new requirement that the king should not ‘multiply horse to himself…nor wives…nor silver and gold.’”

That’s all I’m asking for.

Interact with the Bible. Don’t ignore the Bible—interact. I’m even fine if you debunk it. But to treat it as irrelevant is to reveal your most hidden motive—vanity.

You want to be remembered more than Moses? Good luck. But here’s the thing. I’ll only respect the attempt if you fight him head on. He fights you head on. Return the favor. It’s the least you could do.

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