Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Modern Day Parable

There once was a young servant girl named Luisa who lived in the town of Christianhood. She served her townspeople well. She got paid little but much was expected of her. She was chief, cook and bottle washer. Visionary, planner, and worker bee. She also responded to endless emails and interceded for many to answer problems that ordinarily required little thought (had people bothered to take the time to think for themselves). Luisa was the go-to gal. She enjoyed what she did and didn't complain. She knew that the job required to do things that were simple for her yet challenging to others. She spent countless hours listening to the needs of others and they confided in her as if she were their friend. She made people laugh and loved to see smiles where none were before. People took advantage of her intelligence and wit and often took the credit for the work she did in their behalf. She helped advance people in their positions and aided in their well being. This all gave Luisa a sense of belonging in the community of Christianhood. When people did not get what they wanted from Luisa, they simply stopped calling, giving no reason for the disconnect. They just figured that Luisa was of little use to them any longer. In any event, Luisa did what she could, even sacrificing time which could have been better spent with her own family. After all, there were many more people to serve. 

When tragedy struck Luisa, no one cared. Yet people continued to call on her for help in spite of her own need for assistance. No help was offered her. Her services were still needed with no time given to attend to her own needs. She was sought out by many, yet she herself was exhausted and overwhelmed. 

Now when the time came for entertainment, parties, lunches and such, the townspeople all gathered together; often times calling on Luisa to assist in the planning. She always made the false assumption that she would be included in the ultimate affair. When invitations were sent out, Luisa was always left out of the guest list, after all, it was an unspoken rule to never fraternize with the hired help. Her place was to serve, not to be served. The years passed and this modus operandi began to wear on her. It was frustrating and caused much pain.

Well, one day a voice came that reminded Luisa that her gift was appreciated by the One who gave it to her. She was told that she didn't need to over exert herself for others but to utilize that energy on herself and her family. She had been redirecting her talents where she thought they were needed but again she had made a false assumption. The voice told her that her time was better spent with those closest to her and to lavish those gifts on her family who would appreciate it all the more. As she pondered those thoughts, Luisa followed the voice of reason. Little by little she began to disappear from the public eye to engross herself in her family's needs and her own. Interestingly, no one missed her! BUT, she had a new found appreciation for herself and her family, and her family was grateful to have her back......full time! 

Moral of the story: Don't look for satisfaction outside where it is under appreciated but rather focus on that which matters most. The satisfaction that it brings is tenfold and the reward eternal!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Can't We Just All Get Along ?

A coworker where I worked once told me "Why can't we just all get along?" I knew the answer but I felt compassion for his plea (considering he was from Nigeria) and his sincere desire for peace. My answer to him then was "we are all very different people with different beliefs. we can't!" If he were to ask me again now, the answer would still be the same. However, after much more pondering, I have the following to add to my explanation and I also have my own query into the matter.

There is a religious group, that from my perspective, seem to be in union with their beliefs. They don't seem to have a variety of doctrines or denominations that divide their people group. If you meet one of them on the east coast, then chances are, that they believe exactly as one of them on the west coast. They may live in a different house, drive a different car but not much else is different. They probably dress alike, attend a similar house of worship, follow the same religious book without much differing, if at all, in interpretation, raise their children the same, and women retain the same status in the family as is the custom among them. The followers of this so-called 'religion of peace,' as they are referred to, live very similarly no matter where they are. If not for the fact that they want to be THE sole world religion, I would be envious of their ability to hold fast to their beliefs and retain consistency from person to person.

In reality coexisting with this people group is an impossible reality. The C reminds me of a 'pac-man' character that simply wants to gobble up all the rest. Now let's forget about them for a moment.
Christians on the other hand outnumber this religion mentioned above if you add up all the different denominations that exist. However, within Christianity, (which incidentally all follow the same Bible) there are many denominations and doctrines. Each time there is a disagreement on an issue relating to an interpretation of the Bible, a new denomination springs up. There is great pride in re-creating the wheel and claiming to be the master interpreter of the Bible.

It is so discouraging to discover that the one Bible has been interpreted in so many ways that it has lost its intent. No longer are we content in just following the Bible's word and message of hope and salvation, but we, "Christians," feel the need to interpret it to suit each of our needs. I could begin to list all the denominations, but that wouldn't even be enough to show the split within denominations of the different doctrines that exist within each one.

After all is said and done, what has happened is that this large Christian community as a whole has shrunk into tiny fragments scattered across the world. We were created by God to coexist and what has happened is that we've all gone our separate ways as a result of minor or major differences in beliefs to the point that we have great division now. If people (Christians) would just simply stick to the basic beliefs in the Bible and not over analyze it to suit their needs, then maybe we would be more united to stand up to the ideals of this 'other' religion which is hell bent on taking over this world by annihilating anyone that isn't part of their "united" belief system. Have you ever seen how many books are available that are meant to help us interpret the Bible? Doesn't the good book stand on it's own? From my perspective, this is what the coexist symbol should look like. Let's show a united front and face evil together! Let's just all get along!