“Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”- John 14:6
Hope you are doing fine. Things have been going up and down for me and so we could say it has been a major learning phase for me. We all love the mountain tops but it is actually in our valley experiences that God teaches us the most about Him, about ourselves and our purpose in life.
The recent valuable lesson I learnt can be summed up in 3 isms- Idealism, Cynicism & Realism.
Let me explain with the help of an illustration. : Suppose you walk into a clinic and instead of a friendly, helpful Receptionist to assist you, there is a grumpy lady stalling on the landline and distracted by her beeping mobile who glances up at you irritated. Her momentary glance does the talking: “what do you want? Can’t you see I’m very busy?” As she finally keeps the phone down you quickly tell her the reason for your visit. “For a while” … she replies and continues texting smiley emojis to a Whats app contact . How would you react to this person? Would you just wait for her to finish and then repeat the purpose of your visit for the 3rd time and get on with your business there or would you (like me) spend a few minutes to give the receptionist a piece of your mind and then leave heaving a sigh of relief at having expressed your total intolerance for this kind of negligent behavior?
Most probably you would have reacted like my husband and 75% of population and you would ask me why I even bothered to talk to her (having already finished my business)? But perhaps 25% of you would agree with me that when wronged something within just wouldn’t allow us to leave the place without first putting things in order. Just leaving without saying what needed to be said made me feel like as if I had left the toilet without flushing it J
All my life I have faced such kind of situations staring at me in the face as if daring me to do something about it , to set things right, no matter whether it directly involved me or not. Often I would wonder why it was that people didn’t simply do what they were expected to do or just say what they were expected to say. Many times I get the look “… what is her business in telling me how to do my job"… but like it or not, they knew I was right and this would be justified as the next time I’d visit, I'd usually see an improvement in the things there. Though often, I didn’t benefit from any of this, I could leave knowing that I had made a difference for the next person in line and oddly enough that would be satisfying enough for me.
I never understood why I continued to do this. I would often find myself in such conflicting situations no matter how peaceful or prayerful I was. Very recently I had such an encounter with a person I respected and looked up to. There was a certain issue I had discussed with the person and believed he would take care of the matter. I just couldn’t believe when after a period of two weeks, there was no communication from this person nor was there any action taken on the matter. This left me at first puzzled, irritated and then even angry. I finally decided to confront the person about it. The response of the person was that though he had meant to do something about it, he had needed some more facts to work on it and so had kept the matter pending. He apologized for his lack of communication. I quickly accepted his explanation and the issue was solved. Yet it took me some time to recover from the stress I had allowed to bother me for the last two weeks. I kept asking myself why I had allowed anything to affect me so much.
As I usually do, when faced with a confused mind/ a heavy heart, I asked the Lord what was the real issue here and why was it so difficult for me. The Lord then helped me understand that I was being an Idealist and so was trying to fix things as if we were living in an Ideal world.
IDEALISM: (The unrealistic belief that our standards/principles can always be achieved or the pursuit of perfection)
In an Ideal world, all people would do what they had to do and say what they had to say perfectly. There would be no need of reminders. People would be hardworking, punctual and dedicated always. They would be filled with joy, hope and kindness. However in the world we live in, where life is a rat race and survival of the fittest is the mantra for success, values like sincerity, compassion, loyalty are totally alien concepts. That is the reason why there was and will always be conflict. “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.”- 1 John 5:19
So the next question was what should we do now? Shift to the other extreme and call the glass half empty? Give up any hope for development, growth and goodness ? in other words become a cynic?
CYNICISM?( The belief that people are interested only in themselves and are not sincere,an attitude of distrust) George Carlin said, “Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist.”
When our childlike wonder and enthusiasm and never say die spirit is extinguished by the blatant disregard or lack of interest of our team members, what do we do? Just throw in the towel and get discouraged and give up our attempts to do what we can to change the system? Start seeing the world as a fallen place full of darkness and gloom and doom; with absolutely no life or hope? I think that would make earth the saddest place to be. It would make us count our days with our eyes on the clouds; homesick for heaven and longing to leave this dismal place and go home to be with the Lord.
Here we remember the encouraging words of our Lord Jesus
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”- John 16:33
That brings us to the 3rd ISM-
REALISM! (The attitude or practice of accepting a situation as it is and being prepared to deal with it accordingly.)
What better time to learn this lesson than the Lent Season & the Holy Week?
THE DEATH OF JESUS ON GOOD FRIDAY & HIS RESURRECTION ON EASTER SUNDAY
I praise God that after the sorrowful Good Friday when Jesus was crucified, there is a Resurrection Sunday when our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father. And the hope we Christians have in this fallen world is that ONLY because of the shed blood of Jesus, there is forgiveness of sins and because of His Resurrection from the dead, there is life beyond the grave. “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”- Rom 8:11
Thus there is the definite possibility of a miracle always; of answers to earnest prayers from sincere and humble hearts. God Almighty loved His creation so much that He sent His only begotten Son to earth to die that painful brutal shameful death on the cross so that we would be redeemed from sin and sickness death and hopelessness. John 3:16
Jesus is the WAY. We don’t have to be foolish and frustrated Idealists (who can only dream of a better world) nor bitter and hopeless Pessimists (who are angry and expect only the worst from this world.) Instead, we can be Christian Realists who are well aware of our limitations to make any lasting changes in a fallen world but are also fully confident of the ability and willingness of a Loving Father God who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ask, think or imagine to make this world a better place to live in. “To him who by means of his power working in us is able to do so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of: to God be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever! Amen.”- Eph 3:20, 21
Let’s all do our little bit by lighting our candles and thus contribute to making this world a brighter place!
Lets sing : HEAL THE WORLD , MAKE IT A BETTER PLACE - FOR YOU & FOR ME & THE ENTIRE HUMAN RACE! Click here : https://youtu.be/Xv1v8Addsgs