Destroying the Stone (January 10, 2013)

…Opening To…

Just like a deer that craves streams of water,
my whole being craves you, God.
My whole being thirsts for God, for the living God. (Psalm 42:1-2a)

…Listening In…

“You know, the Stone was really not such a wonderful thing. As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all – the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.” (Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)

…Filling Up…

Albus Dumbledore sure has the measure of the human race. Near the end of the first Harry Potter book, Dumbledore and Harry are talking about the Sorcerer’s Stone. Nicholas Flamel, the owner of the Stone, and Dumbledore decided to destroy it rather than risk it being stolen and used for malevolent purposes.

This was the best decision they could make considering the lengths Voldemort goes to get the Stone. I assume Dumbledore wished that he had made such a decision long before – destroy the Stone, rather than hide it. But Dumbledore knows better than most that “humans…have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.”

He’s right, of course. But why do we make life-negating choices when we could make life-affirming ones? What is it about our makeup that propels us down the paths to destruction? As followers of Jesus Christ, we strive to walk behind the One who is on the right path precisely because we know that if we weren’t following so closely, we’d go astray – like sheep without a shepherd.

The choice we have to continue making, then, over the course of our entire lives, is a simple one. (A simple choice, but with great consequences.) That simple choice is between following Christ and not following Christ. We have to make that choice every day because every day we are tempted to make an easier choice, which is to follow where are own footsteps lead. This is an enticing option because it’s a path of lesser resistance and it will seem exciting for a time.

But it is not the path of life. Dumbledore has the measure of us, all right. But by reaffirming every day our commitment to following Christ, we can practice choosing the things that are best for us. And with God’s help, perhaps we will, over time, counteract that fundamental human failing.

…Praying For…

Dear God, your Son is ever walking one step before me. Help me to see his footprints ahead of me in my life, so that I may always choose to follow him. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, glad to know that, even though I am a muggle, you still weave your magic through my life.

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