The dimensions of a complete life

My reflections on Samuel Rodriguez’ thoughts on righteousness and justice prompted me to re-read Martin Luther King’s mediation called “The dimensions of a complete life” this week. King describes the dimensions as a triangle (compared to Rodriguez’ cross) – by adding the dimension of self to God and others.

If one is not concerned about himself he cannot be totally concerned about other selves…

I’m perfectly happy to go along with this. But there is ‘a sting in the tail’.

Underpinning what King says is the teaching of Jesus about the greatest commandment:

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:29-31

Well, I have two problems with that:

  • ALL
  • AS

These commandments wouldn’t be so difficult if these were modified a bit. How about the following amendment?

Love the Lord your God with some of your heart and with a portion of your soul and with a wee bit of your mind and with a smidgen of your strength.’ ‘Love your neighbour kinda like yourself.’

That would make it much easier … except that it wouldn’t be very complete would it?

Sadly, I settle for the dimensions of a partially complete life far too often.


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