Monday, January 17, 2011

Random Kindness

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” --Philippians 2:14 (NIV)
Two celibate monks came to the crossing point of a slightly elevated river.  There was a woman there who could not get across.  So one of the monks offered her his back and he carried her across the swollen stream.  Once on the other side the two monks continued their journey, but the one bewailed the other for having touched the woman.  Mile after mile he complained about how sinful his brother in faith had been.  Finally, the monk pulled them to a stop and he turned to his friend and said, "I put that woman down at the edge of the river.  Why are you still carrying her?"

Life in these times, actually life in all times, is full of the warped and crooked.  If we want to look for the misery, unfairness, wrong, twisted, and misdirected we can find it with little trouble.  Newspapers fill their pages with these kind of stories.  We drag ourselves down into pits of despair when we follow these stories.  They take us down into the basement of human nature and leave us discouraged, bleak, and untrusting.  Soon we find ourselves grumbling and complaining about everything wrong; losing sight of what is pure and uplifting.  The more grumbling we do, the more universal the negative feels.  So stop!

Assess situations fairly and as accurately as possible but don't let situations, no matter how bleak, color your beliefs about everything.  Being a child of God we are risen above the basement of human nature.  Our basic nature is founded in Love and we conquer the negative with Love.  We short-circuit the grumble game simply by not perpetuating the grumbling.  Stop carrying the weight of guilt and shame.  Put it down at the side of the river and move on with your journey where you'll discover your blameless purity.  Work to counter-balance the bad things that happen by being a thoughtful blessing to others.  Commit random acts of kindness and help the perceptions of how crooked and depraved our generations are to improve.

God help us to be active in seeing the positive attributes and sides of a situation.  Give us the foresight and commitment to inject small amounts of kindness into the scene wherever we go.  Amen. 

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