Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The ENTP’s Prayer

For the LORD is one who always repays,
and he will give back to you sevenfold.
But offer no bribes, these he does not accept!
Trust not in sacrifice of the fruits of extortion.
For he is a God of justice,
who knows no favorites.
—Sirach 35: 1-12

An ENTP knows how to play the system, as someone who knows how to play people like harps, pluck their strings to get what they want. An ENTP uses their intuition to feel out the cosmic design woven around them. In an ENTP’s eyes, the entire world is a Rube Goldberg machine for those who can feel out the strings, maneuver them gently, and watch the entire mechanism waterfall into motion.

An ENTP categorizes people, labels them in order to understand them. Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple is the perfect literary example of an ENTP. She cracks whodunits by cracking the mysterious code of personalities. She solves mysteries by solving people. She’ll notice: Oh that sweet old lady next door is exactly like my maiden aunt’s murderous maid. Or that kind grocer exhibits the same personality quirks as my erstwhile criminal gardener. She intuits patterns and similarities between persons, and treats them accordingly.

Much like Dante, an ENTP is simply just trying to order the chaotic world into a system that appeals to their natural logic. We put the nymphomaniacs in the 2nd ring of hell and the simonizes in the 8th ring, and thus we have turned this surprising universe into something our small minds can wrap around.

Much like Dante, an ENTP’s spiritual journey is moving from our attempts to grasp the universe into simply an embrace of the mystery. We have this instinct that the universe is logical and ordered, we catch glimpses of the mechanics, we gain flashes of insight into her workings, but, ultimately, the cosmic order is a far more surprisingly complexity than we can understand.

The eschatological bent of Sirach and the Gospel from Mark today impress upon us that God is not to be approached as someone we can box in our own order of the universe. God’s ordering of the universe breaks open our systems, our maneuverings, our manipulations, and welcomes us into a reality of gift and generosity that we cannot control or even fully understand.

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