Sunday, August 07, 2005

... devotion

just got back from devotion. singing was great as always, and there were more people there tonight than i've seen since i've been going. very encouraging.

it's good to have such ecumenical events like devotion (which i've misspelt every time i've typed it in this post). next month, on the first weekend in the month, is the big exoday event, and devotion, which usually meets on the first saturday in the month, will be going to that instead, and meeting on september 10 and not september 3. it's also where united are going to be recording their new live album (apparently) so it'd be an interesting thing to go along to. i just might be there.

i've been so tired this week, but it was good to hear "it's great that you made it" when i was chatting after devotion tonight. i didn't hang around long, and i'm heading home from this internet cafe now, after i post this.

devotion is a big word. you don't hear it used a lot these days, and i think it's because it's regarded with a bit of suspicion. i mean, if you're devoted to something or someone, then you're going to be focussed on that more than anything else (i suppose). which means, unless you're devoted to tolerance, your very devotion is going to alienate you from some people.

but even those who claim to be devoted to tolerance, to the idea that everyone's opinions are worthwhile and have an intrinsic value because they're opinions held by a living breathing person (i think this is the thinking (if much) behind the idea), even these people are very often completely intolerent of those who aren't similarly devoted to tolerance.

i rather suspect that it has something to do with responsibility. that if tolerance is to be the universal law, all action has value. taken to the logical extreme, then, any action is valid if it forms an integral part of a person's worldview and not provable to be a whim. how can this kind of view prevail in a nation that respects the rule of law? doesn't rule of law mean that there are things that a society does not tolerate? doesn't "tolerance" therefore inevitably lead to a relativism that white-ants respect for the rule of law and then allow for the corruption of that system into uselessness and self-aggrandisement?

responsibility, on the other hand, accepts difference exists, but does not deify it. responsibility accepts the rule of law, and a variety of rule exists where responsibility is instrinsic to those systems. where responsibility for enforcement of rule of law is surrendered (willingly or not) to the state, the same handwashing as that encouraged by tolerance occurs - again, not what a healthy society needs.

the midst of these two extremes is where the devotion sung about and prayed about at devotion is to be found - forgiveness. i guess i'd like to be devoted to forgiveness. i know it's why i'm still here, walking and talking and typing on this earth. without it, i'd have been dead in a bathtub 15 years ago, not here right now.

i'm tired and i'm rambling, but i think i might have the tail of a thought nailed down here. it's wriggling a bit, and hopefully the lizard it was attached to hasn't got away. pray that i'll be able to sort it out, get it down on paper or something.

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