This past week I had the opportunity to listen to one Rev. Shem and as he spoke, he gave us one very humorous tale. It is about how one day in antiquity when the king of the Jungle invited every animal in his kingdom for a special session of receiving legs. They were supposed to have arrived by a certain agreed hour; everyone else, the lion, the elephant, the buffalo and the rest had picked their share of legs. Mr. frog arrived late and therefore received two uneven pairs. That is why to this date, he uses part of his belly to propel self forward as he hops up and about.
As he, Rev. Shem mentioned the pleadings of Mr. Frog who insisted that he could take any thing left behind as long as he at least never had to use his belly to move about as Mr. Snake did. The thought of having to move about the rest of his life without legs was humiliating and unacceptable. No wonder he gladly accepted whatever legs availed to him.
This story is not exceptional to Mr. Froggy; the world is inundated with individuals who in one way or another seem to have not kept their rendezvous with the destiny. As the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes aptly captions this very profound observation when he states, "I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favour to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come: . . ." (Ecclesiastes 9:11)
With the hustle and the bustle that is part and parcel of this life, we are often prone to forget the important thing in life. We get engrossed with so many peripheral issues that we too often are blinded to what is important as we while away with what is urgent.
How we come to the decision or choices of what is important or of value to us is essentially a question of perceptions based on the correct value system. This is why probably that childhood tale on the crooked woman who lived in a crooked house and had a crooked cat, a crooked cooking pot and a crooked spoon. It seemed that everything that belonged to her was crooked or had to become or was crooked.
The Nazarene further elaborates on this issue very well when He states, "Your eye is the lamp of the body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness." (Luke 11:34) Practically our Lord is challenging our perception mechanism. Whatever prism we use as a medium for looking or observing the world the same will influence what we become and our behaviour too.
As part of the larger fallen human race, we are susceptible to things mundane or things material. We are more engrossed and captured by the here and now and are blind to things that have eternal value. And it is from here that we exchange love with lust, happiness with fleshly gratification, true wealth with money, genuine caring with convenience, faith with positive thinking, and passion for serving the ancient of days with blind and self-destructing ambition. The same is translated when we lord over others instead of serving in the true spirit of the man from Galilee.
In addition, it is in these regards that Paul the eminent soldier of the cross and the disciple of the Nazarene urges those that believe, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is Ė his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2). A renewed mind and a new attitude is needed if anyone who formally lived and was controlled by the spirit of this depraved world system will graciously embrace by faith the core value system as espoused by the Nazarene.
We seem to enjoy our dance with death forever, no wonder we are always entangled to lifestyles that are essentially self-annihilating. We are perpetually abusing that which if used correctly would be a means to personal fulfillment and enrichment. No wonder later in the day, when start regretting by saying; "I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them . . . I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure . . . Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun." (Ecclesiastes. 2:4-11)
What is this that seems to have taken over our lives and is quickly wasting us, through non-productive and pleasure inducing lifestyles? In a world full of hedonistic entrapments, we are practically under the mercies of the Almighty. And this is especially so, when one realizes that even SIN as in evil produces pleasure but for a moment. The sad part is that our world is forever enslaved in those pleasurable moments. It is in the 'morning' after that we wake reeling and whirling as if in a haze, that we realize how empty the whole affair was, it is in the conclusion of that nefarious deal that we find out that, really there was no fulfillment in that deal after all.
The two sisters of Lazarus of Bethany Mary and Martha are good examples of what is most important. While ". . . Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, "Lord, donít you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" Martha literally reveals that, which we all do, finely expressed by our Master when He answered her, "You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed."
By Kabukuru FM
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