In his wonderful book, The Music of Silence, Br David Steindl-Rast explains the word and its action, "obedience."
"Obedience is 'intensive listening' (to the word of God which comes to us
every moment - our inner voice- if you will), the opposite is absurdity, which
means being deaf to life's challenges and meaning." -also inside of us...
Steindl-Rast suggests that the next time we say "This is absurd," we
ask ourselves, "To what am I deaf here?"
The etymology of the word, obedience is this:
from Latin oboedientia (nominative oboediens), present participle of Latin
oboedire 'to listen.' late 13c., from O.Fr. obeir, from L. oboedire "obey,
pay attention to, give ear," lit. "listen to," from ob
"to" + audire "listen, hear."
Perhaps we can interpret all words, which are actually symbols, in an active or passive sense. For it seems to me that our commonly held notion of obedience is that of actively following a rule and rules are created, as law, to provide justice. And justice is about order in equity, balance, which is why the image of justice holds a balanced scales. So in a more passive sense, justice is more about finding the balance than it is, right and wrong. It is about right and right. It is about reconciliation, which is to return to the balance. Of course, this can take action...Law and Order! ;-)
So with obedience, if we are listening to God's voice, we will bring the balance of justice, inner first, and then outer action. How? Because we are made in the Image of the God of Life. Within each of us is the enlightened Mind of Christ, the Logos, what the Stoics called the ordering principle of the universe, and what scientists call [the Holiness of] Natural Order. And this Sacred and wonderful Natural Order always seeks the balance, always finds the balance, is always listening.
May you find within yourself the deep stillness from which obedience expresses justice. May that inner quietude allow the voice of God, the Logos to keep your heart and mind aligned with the universal balance of the Natural Order, its justice and its peace. In the end, Peace through Natural Order prevails. Be the peace. Bring the Peace.
Love and Peace,
_/\_Peggy @ Ecumenicus