I planned to read Proverbs 4, but the verse I quoted today is from Proverbs 3 that I "happened" to stumble upon. In a situation when it feels like everything is in a huge mess, that life - as wonderful as it is - can be totally cruel and unfair; when it is hard to believe that goodness and kindness still exist because it seems that cunningness, politics, and manipulation rule supreme and wicked people win all the time; when you are in the middle of all those things, then it is ABSOLUTELY neccessay, there is nothing more important, than focusing your sight, heart, mid and soul, to the Lord.
Surely most of you know The Lord of The Rings? It's one of my all-time favorite books, and here I will quote one chapter where Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins are crawling up the Mountain of Doom to cast the ring. Frodo was asleep and Sam was staying awake, realizing with bitter agony that for them this would be a journey with no return. They had a task to do: to cast away the ring, then they will die of exhaustion, hunger, and thirst. They were in a mission to save the world, and yet, they would not be alive to live it. The others will benefit from their hard, perilous journey and sacrifice, others who are not all of them are nice nor kind folks. It seemed so unfair. So hopeless. What was in it for them? All this long trek far away from home, facing danger, threats, death, lack of food, lack of sleep, lack of water. So they will save the world. Big deal. The world will be saved, alright, but they will be dead when it happened. So sad. And cruel. Or is it?
Read this verse carefully:
From the verse, it's clear that the writer - some hundred or thousand years ago - thought that winning favor and esteem before God comes first, and before human beings, second. You might wonder why good people get a bad rep, and two-faced people with bad intentions but excellent ability to "sell themselves to people who matter" gain a stellar reputation. But get this: God is not blind, deaf nor ignorant. If you are being good and nobody else sees it, He does.
In fairy tales, the good people win, but in real life, it doesn't have to be like that. History is filled with stories of good and loyal stewards who got banished or murdered by the Kings because of false rumors and manipulation by the wicked ones. It still rings true to this day. But remember this: the real life that we live in, is not an eternal life. We are only sojourners on this world. We should make the best of it, yes, but this life is not Heaven. Bad people may win now, but who knows what will happen to them in the next life?
Some people might challenge, well, what if there is no next life? What if there is no God afterall? What if Heaven does not exist?
Well, my friends. Let me quote from Carl Jung. I do NOT believe that there is God, Heaven and afterlife. I KNOW that there are.
It's not something that I force others to believe, because one cannot believe what they do not know.
And if you are with me in faith, always remind yourself: care first to please God. Other things will follow.
So, if the world is crumbling down around you, if nobody appreciates your kindness, if people say bad things of the good deed that you do, be good anyway. Stay good. Be kind anyway. Stay kind. Because it is more important to gain favor and esteem from the Lord, than from human beings.
Today when I went home from work, this was the sky looked like. Even the most expensive jewel that money could buy, I think, cannot compete with such splendor and colors and luster. Before parking my car in the garage, I took a moment to stop, took a deep breath, savor the beauty of this sight, and thank the Lord for all His blessings, and for eyes that can enjoy this view.
Have you been too busy or stressed out lately to watch the sun set? Try it. And realize this: no amount of man work, corporate work, busyness, productiveness, schedule, to-do-list, artificial make up, branded goods, meticuluous planning, or anything human can do, can beat, or create, the daily occurence, the magnificent daily thing, God-created, sunset.
And that put all things in perspective.
I'm linking up to these wonderful Ladies: