Monday, November 9, 2009

Stupid is what stupid does.

Autumn Greetings my friends,

Have you ever done something was just plain stupid? I mean, one of those things where the first time you think about it, it sounds good, maybe even gives you a little chuckle, or makes you believe you really are as smart as you think you are. Then you get into doing it and soon you’ve past the line where you are now totally committed and the voice of reason (which apparently was vacationing somewhere far away from the rest of you when the planning of this thing took place) begins to scream, “DON’T DO IT!” But you do it anyway. Then you sit back thinking to yourself that you have outsmarted reason and have done something good. Maybe it was for a family member, maybe it was for co-worker, or a friend, whomever and you just wanted to make them laugh, or brighten their day or do something you thought would bring a moment of happiness. Then they see it, or receive it, or experience it and even as you continue to revel what you did you begin to see in their eyes, or hear it in their voice, “Why have you done this?” Then in wave after wave the stupidity washes over you and you begin to drown in your own carelessness.

Why didn’t you listen to reason?

This happened to me recently. I had a friend who I thought could use a little special treatment that only I could give and so I planned and I plotted and I put it into play. Then not too long afterward this friend called me up and felt totally the opposite of what I had intended. And to add insult to injury I found out that I even touched on an emotional nerve within this person that not only made what I did stupid, but also painful. This one ill-conceived act on my part may have cost me a friendship that I hold very dear. Simply because I was stupid.

I prayed about it a great deal the rest of the week and it struck me what was missing from this series of events, it was prayer. I had allowed myself to be tricked into believing that I could do something apart from finding a place for God within it.

“I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me,” it reads in St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians 4:13 and I think that we need to pay a lot more attention to that statement. So often I can convince myself that God can stay on the outskirts of my life and my relationships, that I can find the strength and the wisdom to get through them by myself. But I can’t leave God out, because when I do then I turn stupid.

The great parable of the King’s banquet in the Gospel of Matthew 21:1-14 is another fitting illustration of human stupidity. These people are invited to banquet a dinner party and they kill the messengers. Think about for a moment, you sitting at your desk at work, or wherever you happen to be when someone comes up to and says, “I heard that there’s an open buffet, all you can eat over at the this five star restaurant. They’re also providing a live band for dancing. Oh, and its all for free! Do you want to go?” You’re response is to turn towards them and shoot them. It seems a bit extreme, even out of proportion doesn’t it? Well, we do this every time we don’t time to pray our relationships. Every time we think we can guide ourselves where we should be going with this person, be they a spouse, a family member or a friend we are taking giant steps toward killing that relationship. Why, because God is the one who set the table and unless we join in the feast we’re just playing in the “darkness.”

Look at your significant relationships. The times when they have been at there lowest have been the times when greed, or selfishness, or jealousy, or unforgiveness have been the ruling factor. When we have allowed the human stupidity of the moment to blind us to the beautiful gift that God has given us in bringing that other person into our lives. When we begin to kill the messenger of God’s love to us that this person may very well be. When we start thinking only about “Me” and forget “Us.”

You can’t have a party alone (well, you can, but its gonna be real boring) and God has prepared a great banquet for each of us to attend. How do we get in? We start learning how to truly love each other here and now. What that must mean is that I don’t control the relationship, love does, God does! Only then does stupidity find no place in our relationships. Only then are we “dressing” properly for the banquet. Only then are we respecting the gift of the person God has placed before us.

As I reflect on those past events, I realize that this has not been the first stupid thing I’ve done (I know that this surprises many of you). But that I have neglected and hurt so many people in my life because I have presumed to act without relying on God’s wisdom to strengthen me. I know what it’s like to be cast out of someone’s life, “wailing and grinding my teeth.” I think we all know what that feels like. And for myself, as of this moment I am going to rededicate my life to making sure I am prepared for the “heavenly banquet” by listening to the messenger, Jesus Christ, and to all those people He sends into my life to make me feel more connected to His great love. I long to live in the “glorious riches in Christ Jesus,” as we hear in Philippians 4:19.

I don’t know if I will ever be able to repair the relationship with this friend of mine. But whether that friendship return to “abundance” or stays in “need” I will do my best to remind my friend and myself that for all my moments of stupidity I would really like to see both of us, indeed all of us gathered around God’s table, just we are right now, for all eternity.

Peace,

Fr. John

41 comments:

  1. 幸福是人人都要,又怎麼可能都歸你所有?要知道這世界幸福本來就不多........................................

    ReplyDelete
  2. 謝謝您囉~~看您的分享文章是個很好的經驗~~ ........................................

    ReplyDelete
  3. 教育的目的,不在應該思考什麼,而是教吾人怎樣思考......................................................

    ReplyDelete
  4. 我們不是因為快樂而歌唱,而是唱歌使我們快樂..................................................

    ReplyDelete
  5. 世間是非,要如水泥地般水過則乾。.........................

    ReplyDelete
  6. 很棒的分享~~~來留個言囉~~~~.................................................................                           

    ReplyDelete
  7. 一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼............................................................

    ReplyDelete
  8. 一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼............................................................

    ReplyDelete
  9. 卡爾.桑得柏:「除非先有夢,否則一切皆不成。」共勉!............................................................

    ReplyDelete
  10. 向著星球長驅直進的人,反比踟躕在峽路上的人,更容易達到目的。............................................................

    ReplyDelete
  11. 永遠不要躊躇伸出你的手。也永遠不要躊躇接受別人伸出的手。.................................................................

    ReplyDelete
  12. 死亡是悲哀的,但活得不快樂更悲哀。. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    ReplyDelete
  13. 人生有些波折,才能有些成長,所以不論順逆,凡是成長、成功的助緣,都應該心存感激。..................................................

    ReplyDelete
  14. 失去金錢的人,失去很多;失去朋友的人,失去更多;失去信心的人,失去所有。............................................................

    ReplyDelete
  15. 在莫非定律中有項笨蛋定律:「一個組織中的笨蛋,恆大於等於三分之二。」..................................................

    ReplyDelete