A Fool Such As I

It takes a little while for life to sink in.  By that, I mean we don’t get the meaning right off.  The meanings of things, that is.  When we do, it is often too late to do anything about them.  We noticed the trappings of life right off but missed the real substance.  Important and substantial moments were there, but, now, they are gone never to return.  Way leads to way, and the option to take another path ceases to exist.  Life is like that.  It narrows out.  When you are most equipped, the job has been filled by the less qualified with greater enthusiasm. 

We do our best at the time.  Few people will view themselves as sagacious, but most attempt the right things by their lights.  People don’t normally make decisions for self-harm.  They are trying to escape (not encourage) calamity.  This could even be said of those who commit actual physical self-harm.  They are trying to get away from something because anything is better than the current circumstance.  From this viewpoint, even those sabotaging themselves are seeking a form of gain.  It may not be right, but they are trying to better themselves.

Excepting outliers, we all have acted in self-disinterest while doing our perceived best at the time.  No one clarifies all eventualities, and the effects of the fall on humankind (along with personal sinfulness) render consistent and astute analysis impossible.  Our resulting lives are full of swings and misses.  In darkness, we curse ourselves as less than good and more evil than is warranted.  How could we have misjudged?  Now that opportunity is gone, we see exactly the appropriate treatment for the situation.  Water under the bridge.

It’s hard to know how something feels until you are in the situation.  We’ve all had the “aha” moment.  Empathy is hard to achieve apart from experience.  People will often say they don’t understand how someone else bore up under their circumstances.  The reason is that they’ve not had the same experience.  When we encounter adversities, we find options limited, and the world keeps turning despite our action or inaction.  We do what we must because we must.  The grace of God meets the needs of His children as they present and not before.

I have gained respect for individuals when I learned something about their lives.  It’s easy to criticize things we don’t understand.  While it’s a plain fact that we all need instruction, correction and advice, beware when you dispense such.  Unsolicited advice is seldom heeded and often resented.  There will be a time when the wolf is at your door.  in that hour, you will not need advice on comportment but actual help in fighting the carnivore.  People walk the paths set before them and may not be able to self-actualize in large degree.

Now and then, each of us will seem foolish in our own eyes and the eyes of others.  We will makes mistakes and have failures which could have been foreseen if only.  On a positive note, we may develop attributes from our experiences that will stand us in good stead in the future.  That’s what you call ironical right there.  God can use unfortunate occurrences to shape our lives, and make them better than before.  It is a great mystery and marvelous in our eyes that our Creator from brokenness makes it good that evil has been.

Paul said he was a fool for Christ’s sake.  Though the pursuit of God may be counterintuitive from some perspectives, divine wisdom is not subject to human rationalization.  The wisdom of the world being foolishness with God, there is always disconnection between the perceptions of Christ-followers and earthly minds.  In the end, all expenditures made in the name of the Almighty will receive wages due.  When we exert ourselves with an eye to eternity, we will not miss the real meaning of life in this world or the next.

Sterl

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