Tradition (is like a fiddler on a roof)


I wrote this a couple years back and I have wandered far since then. It is no less true because of my wanderings. If you are not an Orthodox Christian I only ask that you take what you can and if you have a comment, please share with me… I am a sinner and an outlaw who at times wanders far from the Truth. I still love the Truth and accept life as it is knowing that my wanderings are MY weaknesses. I attempt to keep my opinion separate from that which never changes. Again I hope you enjoy and that you share with me your thoughts. jt

 

Some thoughts on Tradition

Traditions are the edges of the great

Rivers and lakes,

The firm boundary that separates

The land from the sea

 —

We want to save the earth and yet we destroy the crown

Of Gods creation — in man,

Like the flood that recedes and the fire that burns itself out

Is the philosophy of this anarchy

 —

The cultures of the world are good as are the

Traditions that “separate” them

The separation given to men was given for their humility,

Yet the vain man thinks he can unify the world

 —

Boundaries are given for all things

From land and sea to hand and foot

But the innovator is the unwitting anarchist

That seeks to have no boundaries

 —

A life without Tradition, is diseased and disorderly

And cannot sustain life

As also a man without skin

Would live a short and tortured time

 —

Though you can lay the pieces of the puzzle

Wherever you do wish

In their proper and traditional place

They make sense and beauty

— 

A man will have it in his own will

To struggle along the High Path

Or a man will give up his heart to revel

In the passions of a “free” and faithless world

 —

The mirror of morality proves too strong

For many throughout history

But when the homely leper breaks the glass mirror

Does he cease to be ugly and sick?

— 

How can a man speak,

In a voice that can be received?

Words that give life are timeless and true

Woven like golden thread through the Bible and its Traditions

 —

The trees of Tradition

–Tall and strong

Are always laden with life-giving fruit.

Whose taste lingers in the mouth both sour and sweet.

 —

The health and peace of a man who feeds of its fruits

Are easily unsurpassed

Though he may one day walk alone

He is ever accompanied by his ancestors and by his God.

 —

The deception and futility found today

Will not plague this man

For he is sat on a rock and ancient tree

That defies the winds of change

 —

How good is a man who stands alone,

Of his own strength and standard?

Then how good are men which stand together

Bound by something outside themselves and greater?

 —

A man of his own standard as is natural

First of all considers himself

Whereas a man of God and Tradition should consider His words:

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”

 —

The individual is a vain consumer of self satisfying lies

While in his deception he is raped by the spirits of this world

He considers himself wise and ingenious

In finding new ways of pleasurable debasement

 —

The Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church

Is the ark and perfection given by Christ

 It is worth thoughtful consideration then

How a man might, through which path, find himself at rest

 —

            As I think on tradition and how our lives will shortly vanish from the stage of this world. I think about our children whom we will leave here. They will be left to these grand questions of life. Through the great mercy of God I hope and pray that they will find in the Church –in spite of our mistakes– the tradition to live and stand on. This pen should paint my prayer for all to see. May God save us and forgive us who have trampled on the sacred divinity of His image in us. May we trust and not doubt. If I could only love and thereby teach my children to love! To show by living icon, that the truth is but one, and absolute. The sacrifice must be made and so the decision. The way is hard that leads to God and to peace. Know that Tradition is the ark of hope that can carry and protect the willing on this journey heavenward. Forgives us God and have mercy upon us!

 —

When the river and the seas cross their boundaries

We wail and complain “who is to blame?”

While the rock and the strong fortress of Tradition

Is mocked and fled from, as from a leper

 —

Religion and Tradition are not slaves to our whims

Nor should it be thus

But as the good and righteous parent He waits

And hopes that we choose not destruction—but life…….

JTS

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