Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Always Ours

Under our control are our reponses, our intention, our desire, our rejections; simply put, those things which are our own works.  
                                                                                      Encheiridion, 1:1

Only that which is "under our control" can be considered "our own works".


     Our responses are own.  A man with a gun may threaten our lives. He cannot force us to die in a cowardly manner.  
     Our intentions are our own.  An archer cannot make his arrow hit the mark.  A sudden gust of wind, poor craftsmanship of his bow, a mischievous shove from behind - any number of factors can send his arrow off course.  But his aim is his own doing. 
     Our desires are our own.  A man cannot control the beauty of his neighbour's wife, but he can choose not to long for her and become a despicable adulterer (the basest of all creatures). 
     Our ability to reject false impressions is our own.  I see that a giant wave is about to overcome my ship and likely drown me, but I can reject the idea that this is an evil and remind myself that only Vice truly harms me. 
    
     There is a very limited number of things under our control, but we may rejoice in knowing that they are precisely the things which are always under our control.  Neither Chance nor Providence have any power over them.  They are our own works.