May 17, 2009

Blast from the Past: A Look at Old Posts 2

Today's blast from the past is a continuation of last week's. This is the second part of that first series.

Considering Dr. John Dunn - Part 2

I’ll admit, I was thinking of another poet when I spoke of the poems John Dunn wrote during a crisis of faith. Dunn did have points where his faith was tested, as do we all, but his were not the specific works I had in mind. I’m sure I’ll search through the dozen or so literature anthologies I kept from college literature courses and come back to those short pieces some other time.

For now, let’s take a look at another of Dunn’s Holy Sonnets, the first one to be specific.

Thou hast made me, and shall thy work decay?
Repair me now, for now mine end doth haste;
I run to death, and death meets me as fast,
And all my pleasures are like yesterday.
I dare not move my dim eyes any way,
Despair behind, and death before doth cast
Such terror, and my feeble flesh doth waste
By sin in it, which it towards hell doth weigh,
Only thou art above, and when towards thee
By thy leave I can look, I rise again;
But our old subtle foe so tempteth me
That not one hour myself I can sustain.
Thy grace may wing me to prevent his art,
And thou like adamant draw mine iron heart.

Just a side note: adamant is a magnetic loadstone. (Definition provided by The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 1B, Seventeenth Edition, Page 1268.)

Here, Dunn’s work is reminiscent of many of David’s psalms where he cries out to God in the despair of his grief over the sins he committed and ends with the hope God will forgive. However, Dunn is more general, lamenting his sinful nature as a human and the struggles he has because of its presence. But, he concludes by reaffirming God’s ability, and promise, to help us in times of temptation.

There are times when we become bogged down by sin and temptation. Satan comes at us in many ways and many forms. Sometimes he’s blatant. We’ve all seen the filth pumped into advertising and entertainment media. Most of us have had a friend or acquaintance ask or downright pressure us to do or join them in something sinful. Sometimes he’s subtle. How many have fallen or turned away because of nagging doubts or prolonged depression?

True, we should always be a studious and prayerful people, but it’s in those times when the weight of temptation and the guilt of sin become too much to bear when we need to lean on God’s strength the most. The way is so simple; it’s all laid out clearly in the Bible if we’ll only take the time to study. But, it’s not always so easy to travel that narrow road. What a blessing it is to know we have the perfect road map in the Bible, and OnStar service twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, through prayer!

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