Up For the Challenge, Part I


The following is a result of challenging a young man to read the book of Job, after a lengthy discussion about God, Jesus, Satan and the Bible in general. Because of  his claim to atheism, we agreed to disagree on a number of things, but he did agree to read Job and here are his thoughts, posted with his permission.

Above all else the Book of Job is an allegory for people to appreciate what it is that they have, and to persevere when times get tough. This, in my opinion, can be understood by believers and non-believers alike, since the main message is quite clear. However, I don’t think that you need God in order to use this story in every-day life. Every person goes through trials and tribulations, some that are more challenging than others, but in the end one has to persevere and continue to work hard to make those hard times pass. For me, a deity is not the main source of either good or bad times, and it is only through what we do during those hard times that shapes and influences us as a person. Ultimately, I believe that we as humans must accept all that happens as our own responsibility and not blame or praise any one or any thing else since we can only control what is in our power to control.

There are many things from the Bible and the Scriptures that we can take and make good use of, since the main message is to be a moral and contributing member of society. However, that message was passed down from mankind for centuries since it helps to serve our own needs and our own purposes, and we do not need a God to tell us not to hurt other people since we fully understand that hurting people leads to a dysfunctional community. When the Bible was written some 1800 years ago (and as early as 1500 years ago), society was quite primative in that clearly defined laws were still rudimentary and people were still trying to figure things out. Societies around the world rose and collapsed as they tried to codify laws that worked for their civilization. Christianity survived because the main political leaders found utility in it (yes, I know that makes me sound like a cynic) and that’s how it was able to spread. But the message, the essence of the Bible, to be a good person is something that should be instilled, but I do not think that an omnipresent and omnipotent God is needed to hold it all together. To give praise to a supreme being for when things go well, and to accept full “blame” for when things go bad is in complete contradiction to human nature and human ego. You are right in that humility is something that all people need to practice–to know one’s limitations and to accept one’s shortcomings–but, again, for me, God does not factor into that.

There are many things in this world that I will never understand, and there are things that humans cannot understand, and may never understand, but thats OK since the fact that we live on this floating rock orbiting a giant star is the most random occurrence out there (in my humble opinion).

I am curious to hear what you have to say about this, and look forward to reading what your opinions/beliefs are on the matter.

My responsive thoughts will appear tomorrow. (God willing).

 

The Victim


Do you remember a post where I mentioned that a marriage counsellor once told me I think too much? Well, you know, he may have been right after all. It seems to me that more of us should do more thinking. I don’t mean random, willy-nilly, helter-skelter thoughts, but deep down, deliberate thoughts that lead to changes in the way we see ourselves and others; the way we see our world and the way we live in it.

In 1995 I wrote this poem called The Victim. It’s about crimes and war and unsound government, and the entire world possibly becoming victim to all of these things. And then thinking about the poem in a new light, I realized that it’s not only crimes and wars and unsound government that hurt people, but the way we treat each other on a daily basis. The sad part of all of this is the take heed part. If we don’t take heed, nothing changes, and if we do?

THE VICTIM

People dead

before their time,

victims

of some heinous crime.

Callous killers,

world’s worst foes,

victims

of God only knows.

Wars created

through sheer greed,

victims

of abnormal need.

Governments

whose rule a hoax,

victims

of the peoples’ votes.

Our planet Earth,

soon indigent,

victim

of our ignorance.

World, take heed!

The time has come

for remedy

lest you become

the victim.

©1995

When I stop and think about it, I don’t mind being the victim of too much thought. Please join me; let’s help make the world a better place by looking at the way we think, and changing what needs to be changed. Only by recognizing that our part in global destruction may begin in our own thought patterns, the thoughts we hold about ourselves and each other, may we be a part of the solution.

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement…Romans 12;3

I wonder if I really do think too much…hmmmm

 

 

 

The Winning Circle


Today I’m borrowing a story from my book of poems. I wrote it in 1994, and it’s about a parent or adult helping a child become aware of nature, dreams, kindness, and the world in general. I believe it fits nicely into the theme of My Precious Life, if not into the book itself.

The Winning Circle

Come little child, take my hand,
and together we will walk
through a forest green,
by a flowing stream
where the winds and the waters talk.

The sounds they speak
brush against your cheek,
mere words need not be said;
hear the bird’s high trill
from a far off hill,
breathe the scent of a wildflower bed.

Come little child, and take my hand
as the twilight turns to purple;
we’ll dance on a breeze
through the moonlit trees
in search of the winning circle.

We traveled all night
as the moon’s clear light
shone bright on the path before us;
to the chirp of night crickets
and a bullfrog’s loud “ribbits”
we sped through the carpeted forest.

We sometimes grew weary,
but the sound of a cheery
night owl’s encouraging cry
kept us skipping and dancing
and breathlessly prancing
until dawn decorated the sky.

We came to a meadow
and delightfully settled
in a bed of soft grass and flowers;
as dreams drifted o’er us
to refresh and restore us
we slumbered in dawn’s early hours.

We soared t’wards the moon
in a hot air balloon
dodging dazzling stars in night skies;
as we gazed down at earth,
the place of our birth
a vision appeared to our eyes.

We saw wars being fought,
many people distraught
by the horrors happening to them;
we saw famine and disease
and despite the world’s pleas
the good life seemed doomed
for all humans.

Then words soft and clear
in our hearts we did hear,
“Give hope, offer your hand.
Do a kind deed,
help those in need.”
We awoke to the sounds of the land.

As we traveled along, child, you and I,
we came to a town called “Wanting”.
The people there
were hungry and bare,
and the look in their eyes was haunting.

We met a young lad
whose demeanor was sad
for all he wore was a sack;
without further ado
I gave him my shoes
you gave him the shirt off your back.

We tended the sick,
shared our food and our water
until all we could do was done;
then we bade them good-day
and went on our way
in the glow of the setting sun.

Come, little child, take my hand
as we come to our journey’s end;
we have traveled well
and have much to tell,
we must share it with a friend.

We must tell of the need
to do a kind deed,
and to lend a helping hand;
for the world needs us all,
young, old, great and small,
to make it a happier land.

Come, little child, and take my hand
as the twilight turns to purple;
we’ll dance on a breeze
through the moonlit trees
into the winning circle.

©1994