Some friends and I saw Richard III at Paramount Theater last night. The director chose to trim the play down from three hours to two, and while I am grateful I wasn’t out later than I was (I pulled in the driveway at midnight), I do regret the truncated story. Shakespeare contrasts Richard’s life of manipulating self-service to Richmond’s allegiance to enduring values of justice and truth. Richmond is gracious, where Richard is harsh. Richmond shows respect for both his nobles and his soldiers; Richard respects no one and is left utterly alone. Richmond would die to serve his beloved England; Richard abuses England to serve his hateful self.
This contrast was lost in last night’s abridgement and I missed it. Perhaps the director doesn’t value these eternal truths and saw the last act as posturing. Heaven knows, we have lost faith in leaders to hold to something greater than self-interest. But in reading Richmond’s willingness to fight and die to right gross injustice I find encouragement to fight my own battles. He displays the nobility I want to characterize the rest of my life.
The commands of God express of the physics of the moral universe. Just as we defy the laws of gravity to our regret, the laws of God define what is upright. Why would I not study them and then abide by them?
But I haven’t. I have been working my way through Psalm 119:57-63 in blogs about each verse. These verses have kept me silent because I recognize I have lost the eagerness I once had to align myself with God’s commandments. They challenge me.
The book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp gives me a hopeful vision for starting anew, today, now. She teaches me the necessity of thanks-giving and its connection to joy and a healthy soul. I am building a habit of seeing God’s gifts throughout my day, instead of playing the dreary refrain of my weakness and failure.
So, I have considered my ways and I will hasten to turn to and keep God’s commandments, most consciously the one to give thanks in and for all things.“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever.” Ps. 106:1 “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to Thy name, O Most High; to declare Thy lovingkindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness by night.” Ps. 92:1,2