Opportunity


There is a strange Greek statue which has disappeared completely. But it could be reconstructed today from a stone inscription which used to be the base on which the statue stood. That inscription is a very unusual one: it makes the statue talk to you while you are reading the text.

Here is what is says:

Formerly part of the Borghese collection ; pur...

Formerly part of the Borghese collection ; purchased in 1807. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“What is your name, O statue?”

“I am called OPPORTUNITY.”

“Who made you?”

Lysippus.”

“Why are you standing on your toes?”

“To show how quickly I pass by.”

“Why is your hair so long on your forehead?”

“So that people may hold on to me when they meet me.”

“Why, then, is your head so bald in the back?”

“To show that when I have once passed, I cannot be caught.”

“And what is your name again?”

“OPPORTUNITY.”

— after Aesop

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:10)

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Wooden Indian or Wooden Christian?


English: "Cigar store Indian" outsid...

English: “Cigar store Indian” outside of a tobacco shop in Long Beach, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aunt Sophie, a converted scrub woman, used to say that she had been called to scrub floors and to preach. Wherever she went, she would tell others of Christ the Savior.

Someone made fun of her once by remarking that she had been seen some time ago talking about Christ to the wooden Indian statue standing in front of the cigar store.

Sophie’s reply was, “Perhaps I did. My eyesight is not so good. But talking about Christ to a wooden Indian is not as bad as being a wooden Christian who never talks to anybody about Christ.”

— after William Barclay

If this story hit home, as it did to me, then it’s time we become witnesses (or better witnesses) for God. In my daily prayers, I ask God guide my thoughts, words, and deeds – that in all these things I honor Him and I serve as a testimony to the people around me of God’s grace and love.

“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.'” (Mark 16:15)

Pain Does Good


Shaun the Sheep

Shaun the Sheep (Photo credit: Diva Sian)

A lady tourist was visiting mountainous Switzerland. One day, she waked up to a sheep pasture on a hillside. There sat a shepherd with his flock of sheep lying at rest around him. Nearby on a little pile of grass lay a sheep which seemed to be in pain. It was; it had a broken leg. The lady asked the shepherd, “How did it happen?”
To her amazement, he answered, “Missus, I broke that sheep’s leg myself.” He went on to explain, “Of all the sheep in this flock, that one was the most disobedient; it would never obey my voice. It always wandered off and led the rest of the flock astray. I had had this problem before, so I knew how to cure it. I broke its leg to save it and my other sheep.”
“On the first day, I went to it with food and it tried to bite me. I left it alone for a few days and it got hungry. Then I went back to it. Now it not only takes the food but licks my hand as well.”
“Let me tell you something; when this sheep is well again – as it soon will be – it will be the model sheep of the flock. No sheep will hear my voice more quickly. None will follow so closely at my side.”

— Bert Balling

Why are we so afraid of pain? Or to be more exact, the possibility of incurring pain? When I was around 10 years old, my father taught me how to ride a bike. After three lessons, I did successfully learn how to ride a bike. But while he was teaching me, there was one thing he said which I never forgot. He said that it’s okay to fall from the bike and that I SHOULD fall. I was like, are you crazy? My goal is NOT to fall from the bike. Then he said, If you never experience falling off a bike, you would always be afraid of falling. But if you fall, then you learn how to fall properly, and you will not be afraid of falling anymore because you have seen that it’s not as bad as it looks.

Sure, getting hurt is no fun at all. It’s a pain in the ass. But pain makes us stronger, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the suffering of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4:12-13)

The Gentle Touch


English: Cow and calf

English: Cow and calf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some city boys were living on a farm during vacation time. One day, a calf got out of the barn and the three of them were trying to get it back in. So one of them pulled on its little horns and the other two pushed him from behind. But the more they pulled and pushed, the more the calf just stiffened its legs and stood there.
The farmer’s young daughter came along and watched them. She smiled, walked over to the calf, and put her finger into its mouth. As the calf sucked her finger, it willingly walked into the barn.
The boys scratched their heads in wonder. They had used the wrong approach. They had insisted on doing what they wanted, completely disregarding what the calf wanted. The farm girl played the other angle: she gave the calf what it wanted, and it followed her willingly.

— William Barclay

Last night, I was feeling pretty bummed and depressed. And when that happens, I start thinking about all the sad things that have happened or have been happening in my life. I’ve been trying to get rid of this bad habit for some time now, but hey, I’m only human. Every once in a while, I suffer a relapse. Anyway, so I was feeling sad, and I started praying – asking God for what I think will make me happier. This story is a good reminder for me, for us, that in life, we are not the boss… God is. Like the boys in the story, we like to insist our own way – we treat God as our genie, someone to just grant our wishes and desires. But as the bible says, “Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you.” (Job 22:21)

Lord, grant me the spirit of obedience and submission to Your will.