Another extract from MacDonald's Scottish novel. The kind of life described in the passage is beginning to make sense to me...
All the morning he was busy in the cornyard--with his hands in preparing new stances for ricks, with his heart in trying to content himself beforehand with whatever fate the Lord might intend for him.
As yet he was more of a Christian philosopher than a philosophical Christian.
He was working in his own imagination, and not in the revealed will of God. If should not prove the will of God concerning him, then he was spending his strength for nought. There is something in the very presence and actuality of a thing to make one able to bear it; but a man may weaken himself for bearing what God intends him to bear, by trying to bear what God does not intend him to bear.
The chief was forestalling the morrow like an unbeliever--not without some moral advantage, I dare say, but with spiritual loss. We have no right to school ourselves to an imaginary duty. When we do not know, then what he lays upon us is NOT TO KNOW,and to be content not to know.
The philosopher is he who lives in the thought of things, the Christian is he who lives in the things themselves.
The philosopher occupies himself with God's decree, the Christian with God's will;
the philosopher with what God may intend, the Christian with what God wants him to do.
Extract from What's Mine's Mine, George MacDonald