Faith & Inspiration
By Charles Towne
Imagine there is this guy or gal that absolutely drives you up the wall. I mean, for whatever reason, you simply don’t like the person and avoid them whenever possible. Maybe it is one of your school mates, or someone that you work with, or heaven forbid they are a member of your church, or even a family member!
Why you don’t like them isn’t all that important; or is it? They just bug the dickens out of you, tick you off.
Maybe he is more popular than you, always the center of attention, or she got the raise that you should have received. Or it might be something really important, like the way they comb their hair, or they laugh too loud, or heaven forbid, they talk too much, or their breath stinks – but then you wouldn’t know because you have never gotten close enough to find out, have you?
What is important is you can’t stand him or her, and you avoid them like the plague; after all, everything he or she does seems to be calculated to steal your tranquility and your joy.
(Wow. Under the circumstances I am almost convinced that you have good reason for feeling the way you do!)
Now imagine this – HEAVEN! Yes, the tree of life! The heavenly city! Streets of gold! Angels! Jesus! The throne of God! We made it! Yes! You made it! Praise God, you really made it! You are in heaven!
One day, Jesus knocks at your door and invites you to go for a walk with him. Yeah, Jesus himself! You always enjoy the time you spend with him. But this particular day he tells you that he has a special treat for you, someone he wants you to meet.
You’re a little stumped. He has already brought you together with all of your family members, and old friends. And when you arrived, one of the first people you wanted to meet was David – you know, The David, King David! And you met Lazarus and Mary and Martha, and of course there was your protector angel, Ariel. You met so many people… so… who could this be that Jesus wants you to meet?
Finally, after walking through a particularly beautiful section of the garden, you come to a magnificent house. But wait, it is not any mere house, for it is made of living trees that exude such beauty and joy, it almost takes your breath away!
As you and Jesus approach the house, you notice an individual pruning one of the trees. At first you take the person to be the gardener, but no… there is something familiar, something you recognize… it’s _______! Yes, it really is. The one you wanted nothing to do with here on earth. But how…? Why…? What did you miss…? Didn’t God know what kind of person they were…?
I think it is time I left the three of you alone. You and Jesus, and…
“Which commandment is the most important of all?”
Jesus replied, “This is the most important: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’…The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” – Mark 12:28-30
Dear God, O Holy one, help me to be what you created me to be. You did not design your children to be miserable and unhappy – physically, emotionally and spiritually – no, you designed us to be full of love, peace and joy! Why is it that most of us are suffering with anger, doubt and fear? Could it be because we have turned away from you? We separate ourselves from you with our determination to go our own way. We seem to be intent in destroying all that is good in ourselves and all of mankind. Please Father, forgive us! Yes, forgive us and help us to be love to a broken world. Thank you for being with us, for loving us, because it is only because of your great love that we can love! Praise you, Oh Merciful and Holy God, in Jesus’ lovely name we ask it, Amen
Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.