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Reject Us, Reject God
When you really love someone, and you see them making a serious mistake, there's never any satisfaction in saying, "I told you so," or in knowing that one day they're going to know that you were right and they were wrong. All that you really want is for them to correct the serious mistake that they're making.
But one of the cleverest tricks the devil has in his bag of tricks is the one where he gets you off the rails by telling you that you can blame someone else for it. Ironically, the one most likely to cop the blame is the one shouting the loudest that you're off the rails.
"Who are you to judge?" "I'm sick of your criticisms!" "Let me live my own life!" they all say, as we watch them walk away. They're not walking away from us so much as they are walking (or running) away from God.
"And now I suppose you think you're God?" they reply to that one.
Well, in a way... yeah.
Jesus said (John 13:20; John 15:20) that when we come in his name (i.e. really saying the things he said, and not just using his name as a cloak for teaching our own made-up doctrines) when we come teaching people to obey him, and they reject us, they're rejecting him.
Now we challenge anyone to show us someone who is more serious about teaching people to obey Jesus than we are.
When we have done all that Jesus has instructed us to do, we should say merely that we are "unprofitable servants" who have done (at best) only what we were expected to do. (Luke 17:10) No need for accolades or rewards just for carrying out orders. If we will faithfully do that, we will be much closer to greatness than all those who feel the general public needs a little prompting to remind them about how great the 'messenger' is.
As I write this, my father is dying. He has, as he has approached death, moved further away from the "churchy" idea of God and heaven that dominated his earlier life. All of the squabbles over minor points of doctrine seem so pointless now.
He still cannot discuss the teachings of Jesus with me (or with anyone else as far as I know); but facing death is putting many of our differences into better perspective now, and I count it a privilege to be near him at this time.
He told me that his big regret was that he did not learn some of the lessons that he is learning now, earlier in his life. And that is one of the signs of true conversion. You start seeing what absolute stupidity it is to follow lesser ideas of God than what Jesus and his life of love represented.
This deathbed vision of truth is what each of us needs to cultivate every day of our lives if we are going to truly live our lives the way that God intended for us to live them. We need to become obsessed with death in order to be obsessed with eternity; and we need to be obsessed with eternity in order to be obsessed with God, who is the source of all life. Anything less than that is just an obsession with religion.
When we stop running away from death, and reach out to it as one of the most important experiences of life, we will start to change in powerful and dramatic ways. Daydreams about dying and facing God are probably the deepest form of prayer that we can experience, and they should highlight every day of our lives. Work at it. And when you do, you will see what true "conversion" is all about. April, 1998
By my bed is a photo of my parents, all my brothers and me gathered around my sister, who is sitting up in a hospital bed a week before she died. I look at it almost every day and think, "These are the little boys that I grew up with when I was a little boy. But we're old men now. And our parents... well, it's a surprise that they're still alive."
I am kind of let down; I thought the WSJ piece was going to be stronger, more critical, you know? Still very good though.
Actually, the "meat" of the piece is in the correspondence between Ashwyn, his mom, and Dr. Levy. Also, as usual, DM proves to be his own worst enemy. I'll have to study this out. Thanks again, Mrs. Lowe. Hmmm......
Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 12/13/2007 01:19PM by zeuszor.