Editor: Richard (Dick) Innes
Published by: ACTS International
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Vol. 19 – No. 2117 May 26, 2017
Thought for the week: "Decisions are easy when values are clear." – Unknown
Without prior warning, friends of mine received their long-awaited adopted baby. At the first opportunity, they drove to the countryside to see their parents and show off their new son. After a wonderful visit, my friends started for home. Before they had traveled very far, however, they drove back to the farmhouse—where Grandpa stood at the door, smiling, holding their new baby.
For Albert Einstein it was a compass. For the Wright Brothers it was a toy rubber-band driven helicopter. For Samuel Colt it was explosives—of any kind.
If you study the childhoods of great inventors (or of any great figures in history), you will often discover some object, incident, or memory that became a metaphor in later years for their life's work.
For the six-year-old Einstein the compass represented a mystery of nature with an effect on him so profound that he spent the rest of his life trying to understand "nature's hidden laws."
For Samuel Colt it was the boy's excitement at seeing things explode that was the source of his passion for inventing a new revolver.
The important point is that locked within our childhood is the seed of our own genius.... Some of us have forgotten these roots, and feel unfulfilled in what we are now doing. Others of us have been true to our childhood loves and find ourselves achieving, or about to achieve, unparalleled success and happiness [fulfillment]. Still others of us are only now beginning to awaken to our own potential and are excited at the prospect of rediscovering who we are, what we love to do, and consequently what will help us lead happy and fulfilled lives.
No matter where you are in your journey, it's never too late to start the rediscovery process.
Bryan W. Mattimore. Cited in Shepherd's Way by Joe Pritchard
Here is a dilemma for your consideration: You are driving along on a wild stormy night. You pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for the bus:
1. An old lady who is about to die.
2. An old friend who once saved your life.
3. The perfect man (or woman) you have been dreaming
Which one would you choose, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your car?
This is a moral/ethical dilemma that [I have read] was once used as part of a job application.
You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first; or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to pay him back. However, you may never be able to find your perfect dream lover again.
Think before you continue reading....
The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble coming up with his answer which was: "I would give the car keys to my old friend, and let him take the old lady to the hospital. I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the woman of my dreams."
A lesson in "heart" is my ten-year-old daughter, Sarah, who was born with a muscle missing in her foot and wears a brace all the time. She came home one spring day to tell she had competed in "field day"—where they had lots of races and other competitive events.
Because of her leg support, my mind raced as I tried to think of something encouraging I could say to her about not letting this get her down. But before I could get a word out, she said, "Daddy, I won two of the races!" I couldn't believe it!
And then Sarah said, "I had an advantage." Ah, I knew it. I thought she must have been given a head start ... some kind of physical advantage. But again, before I could say anything she said, "Daddy, I didn't get a head start. My advantage was I had to try harder!"
This is number two on my list of all-time favorite commentaries.
There's a parable about a new mother who discovered a butterfly struggling mightily to escape its cocoon through a tiny opening at the top. She became concerned when the creature seemed to give up after making no progress. Certain that the butterfly wouldn't make it out without help, she enlarged the hole slightly.
On its next try, the butterfly wriggled out easily. But the young woman's joy turned to horror when she saw its wings were shriveled and useless. Her well-intentioned intervention had turned out badly because it interrupted a natural process. Forcing the butterfly to squeeze though a small opening is nature's way of assuring that blood from the creature's body is pushed into the wings. By making it easier, she deprived the butterfly of strong wings.
Childhood, too, is a sort of cocoon. If a healthy adult is to emerge, parents must allow, even encourage, their children to struggle, make mistakes, learn from them and pay a price for bad judgments and conduct.
Of course, good parents should be ready to protect their children from serious harm. But being overprotective can itself inflict damage. Adversity is not always an enemy. It's often teaching that helps a young person develop wings strengthened by self-confidence and self-reliance.
Helen Keller once said, "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved."
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.
"We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God."1
We know that we need to forgive all who have hurt or offended us, but are we to be reconciled to them? Wherever possible this ought to be our goal, but it isn't always possible as reconciliation is dependent on both parties.
Primarily, we need to be reconciled to God. We do this when we confess our sins to him and receive his forgiveness. However, for our own well being it is imperative that we forgive any and all who have hurt us. This can be extremely difficult if the one involved won't even admit what s/he has done. This, then, makes reconciliation impossible.
According to some folk we can't forgive this type of person. If this is so, some of us are going to carry grudges for a long time. In these instances forgiveness is a choice. We can choose to forgive or we can cling to our hurt and anger and hurt ourselves.
To genuinely forgive we need to get rid of our hurt and anger by expressing these feelings, not necessarily to the one who hurt us, but to an understanding person to rid ourselves of these bottled up destructive emotions. Once we do this, forgiveness becomes possible even if there is never any reconciliation.
Keep in mind, too, that forgiveness doesn't mean that we allow the person who hurt us to hurt us again. With these people we need to have healthy boundaries to protect ourselves. Remember, too, that meekness is not weakness. Lack of healthy boundaries is.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to forgive all who have hurt me and be reconciled to them wherever possible. But help me to forgive regardless of the other person's response. And may I always admit and resolve my part in all conflicts and be reconciled to you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
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