Alexander Pope, one of my favorite curmudgeons of all time. He was also a great thinker and philosopher. Pope wrote “An Essay on Man”, one of the most magnificent poems I’ve read – and not to pose myself as a great reader of poetry there may be far greater than this.
My favorite part of the poem comes in Stanza VIII. He lambastes the arrogance of man who would decide that the natural order of creation was improper.
“Heav’n’s whole foundations to their centre nod,
And Nature tremble to the throne of God!
All this dread order break–for whom? for thee?
Vile worm!–O madness! pride! impiety!”
And from the Argument posed for the poem,
“The pride of aiming at more knowledge, and pretending to more perfection, the cause of Man’s error and misery. The impiety of putting himself in the place of God, and judging of the fitness or unfitness, perfection or imperfection, justice or injustice, of his dispensations.”
Nick Vujicic (God’s Purpose in Creating Differences) would approve of this part of the argument I believe. That anyone would dare to judge him to be less perfect and thereby challenge the perfection of his creation. Alexander Pope would certainly think Nick to be a great man because he does not pretend to perfection and he does not judge the fitness of God’s dispensation in his life. Nick is a miracle because he examined himself and allowed the truth of his temporal body to lose its meaning in his larger purpose in life.
And more from the Argument.
“That we can judge only with regard to our own system, being ignorant of the relations of systems and things. That Man is not to be deemed imperfect, but a being suited to his place and rank in the creation, agreeable to the general order of things, and conformable to ends and relations to him unknown.”
Nick knows that his place in the system of life has been determined by God. He has made peace with the “conformable ends and relations to him unknown.”
What marvelous freedom for any human to accept the perfection of their own creation. What wisdom to acknowledge it in humble acceptance out of ignorance to God’s design and the system which God Himself created. What peace may be possible if one allows our created self to be and not to wish for another. What joy could a person experience who does not fight the God-created reality of their life, their body, their being. To drift apart from society and judgmental systems to serve God’s purpose in being His child, perfect in his creation for His purpose.
Pope ends his poem with,
“All Nature is but Art unknown to thee;
All chance direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good:
And spite of Pride, in erring Reason’s spite,
One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.”
“Whatever is, is right.” I’m sure that Nick would agree with regard to his physical body. Interestingly Jesus also commented on this issue of accepting what is in Matthew 19:11.
Jesus responds to a question about divorce by saying that not all men are meant to be married. He indicated that some men are born eunuchs, some are made eunuchs by others, and some make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said that God did not create men using a cookie cutter, He said that people were unique. Jesus also says that not all men can accept this truth but to those who can hear Him these should listen.
So when do we all quit judging and begin living and allowing others to live? I wonder why people so often draw a blueprint of God’s plan and then judge everything not written there to be imperfect. I suppose that it is in the end our individual responsibility to accept our own creation and to discard the judgment of others. Whatever is, is right. Who outside ourselves is qualified to tell us what is?
“The pride of aiming at more knowledge, and pretending to more perfection, the cause of Man’s error and misery.” How sad that people use their knowledge and their pretense of perfection to create a state of judgment instead of grace!