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Posts Tagged ‘Confucius’

 

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As I turned on the radio, and heard the words spoken from stately lips, my breath was halted, I gulped hard, my heart ached. If I could describe my response, with the description of an action, it would be that of someone shoving a knife into my gut … and then twisting it.

The loss of a life, a soul, just a couple days before, elicited a similar, agonizing response.

The Crusades, the Inquisition … sins against humanity, in the name of Christ.

Slavery, Jim Crow … sins some believed had Biblical support.

Residential schools, child abuse … sins by those who led the church.

Witch hunts, abortion doctor shooters, bullies of homosexuals … all in the name of Christ.

What President Obama may be oblivious to, is the fact that those of us who are sincerely striving to live as Christ have no high horse to come down from …

as we have already been trampled by that ghost horse of the past over, and over, and over again.

“study the past if you would define the future”
Confucius

The past, history, is a most valuable educator. It shows where humanity has gone right, and where it has gone off the rails wrong, like a runaway train. I would never, ever be one to say, let the past stay there … in the past. We must study it, understand it, learn from it.

What I can say, though, is that I do not live in the past, I am not responsible for the actions of those who lived in the past, as it is not those of the past who are my leaders, who I am following.

I am only answerable for the actions, words and impact that my life has on those around me, and the world I live in. Yes, my heart aches when I hear of horrors performed in the name of Christ (past and present), but it is an ache not for myself, but for the one whose name has been damaged … Christ.

May we pray for those who are persecuted.

May we be the hands and feet of God in communities, and the greater world.

May we be the voice of love, of peace and of wisdom.

May we feel the weight of representing our God this day, and be convicted by that responsibility to speak, to act, and to impact our world for His glory.

May we always, only, follow He who is worthy.

“It is (only) the Lord your God you must follow,
and (only) him you must revere.
Keep (only) his commands, and obey (only) Him;
serve (only) Him
and hold fast to (only) Him.”

Deuteronomy 13:4

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WinnieEver had one of those times when you say something, and another person looks at you with shock and disbelief in their eyes, and they say, “that is exactly what I was thinking/how I feel”? To speak to the heart of another is to gain their confidence, their respect, their support.

When we hear someone else echo our thoughts in word we feel the sense of having an ah ha moment. We feel understood, confirmed, and not alone.

When you look at the lives of many historical figures who people wanted to hear, and who are still quoted today, it was their ability to speak the thoughts of others that makes people want to hear them (or, as often is also the case, it makes some to not want to hear them).

Mother Teresa said, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” People can hear this and nod in agreement because most of us are aware of how deeply we appreciate the small things that others do for us. We are also keenly aware that we cannot do great things, and her words empower the small things we can do.

Confucius said, “our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” All who have fallen or failed, and gotten back up could echo this philosopher’s words.

Good old Shakespeare shared the depth of his common wisdom when he wrote, “cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.” And anyone who has thought of and acted bravely would agree.

Martin Luther King Jr. was able to communicate well in this way. He did not just speak what was on his mind, and from his own soul, but he spoke the words and the dreams of many around him, when he preached, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Winnie the Pooh told us what our moral compass does (should) when he said, ” a little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.”

And Anne of Green Gables said what we often think before our head hits our pillow, “Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

Some of these quotes are heard in our hearts, because they echo our heart cry to individuals and to a generation (and to generations to come).

It makes the importance of choosing our words carefully. For if we speak negative and discouraging words, they also echo in the hearts of others.


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