Sorry, Sissy, that it took so long for me to get to this chapter but today I am determined to get this post done and move on to the final chapter of the book! I guess we both had a couple of things going on lately!!!
Fortitude and Fantasy was the title of Chapter 8 of the book and I was intrigued to see where Manning was going with this one!!! As always, I was not disappointed and came away with new thoughts on things. Manning focused on our need to look to others for approval and acceptance—a concept that rings true with me though I have a hard time admitting that at times. Manning speaks of the Jews incapability of being believers as they look to one another for approval (John 5:44). Well…..yea…..I have done that and continue to do that…does that make me an unbeliever??? Fear of rejection often guides my thoughts and my path……Manning suggests that living an authentic life in Christ will help lead us down the path that is the correct one—one which allows us to stand up for who we are and what we believe in without fear of rejection or disapproval. I underlined this sentence:
The poverty of uniqueness is the call of Jesus to stand utterly alone when the only alternative is to cut a deal at the price of one’s integrity.
Wow. Am I willing to do that??? Scary. But essential to becoming the person that I am meant to be. Manning reiterates many times in this chapter the concept that standing on our own two feet and claiming responsibility for our own selves is vital and as we work towards that lifestyle we are rewarded with autonomy and freedom. Good thoughts to incorporate into my life.
A good part of this chapter is based on the thoughts of death and how we view that. Manning admits that he “waffles ” back and forth on this subject. At times he embraces it with anticipation but at other times he fears it. I can agree and I think that I can identify with some of his thoughts on this. I KNOW that this is our final goal as Christians—to be reunited with our loving Heavenly Father and exchange our earthly bodies for heavenly ones but…….at the same time…..I am enjoying a pretty comfortable life right now. The thought of leaving behind family and friends scares me, makes me sad and makes me have feelings that I am less than a full person without these relationships. Suffice it to say I am content. That is a hard thing to look at in my life. I love where I am now—it has taken many years to get to the point where I like myself and even though I still seek approval from others at times it is not the dominant thing in my life. But……..if I am honest about it—I, like Manning, fear death. Maybe for different reasons but I fear the loss of relationships —I am SURE heaven will be heavenly but since I do not know heaven yet, I don’t know what to expect….make sense??? So I guess my mission now after reading this chapter is to search my heart and the scriptures and come to some kind of peace about this whole death thing……