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Extraordinaries

December 8, 2009

The French word temps means both weather and time. Today I see the point of the French convergence of meanings: we are having a convergence of extraordinaries, of the weather, and of our time.

It was 12° outside my home at 6:00 this morning — this is extraordinary for Puget Sound. And today, law enforcement people from all over North America will converge at Tacoma Dome to honor four fallen police officers — three really good men and a really good woman — gunned down in the most senseless, brutal anti-police massacre in the city’s history. Tacoma is not the safest town on the map, but the way people pull together to restore the sense of community and decency that almost everyone really wants is somewhat reassuring.

Sadly, however, so much of this relives the timeworn secular ideal of godly order without God. It can’t happen. Never has, never will. The elusive hope of a competent civilized community, Rushdoony observes, is reminiscent of Edmund Burke, “a man reflecting Christian tradition without being fully a part of it. Its hunger has too often been for God without God.” (R. J. Rushdoony: The One and the Many, Ross House, p. 33)

Men have always lived in extraordinary times and have always weathered extraordinary weather. I seem to be extraordinarily sensitive to both. I have been working on submission, trying to study it, trying to live it. Then, last week, I was reading Psalm 123, and an extraordinary convergence appeared. What appeared was something I have known but do not bring to memory when extraordinaries converge. Submission means looking up, to where our help is; submission does not mean looking down where our failure is. Oh yeah. I knew that. Life can go on and I’ll sign up for the sequel. After I repeat the class.

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