Saturday, March 08, 2008

Parable by Nouwen

Once there was a people who surveyed the resources of the world and said to each other: "How can we be sure that we will have enough in the hard times? We want to survive whatever happens. Let us start collecting food, materials and knowledge so that we are safe and secure when a crisis occurs."

So, they started hoarding, so much and so eagerly that other people protested and said: "You have much more than you need, while we do not have enough to survive. Give us part of your wealth!" But the fearful hoarders said: "No, no, we need to keep this in case of an emergency, in case things go bad for us, too, in case our lives are threatened." But the others said: "We are dying now, please give us food and materials and knowledge to survive. We can't wait ... we need it now!"

Then the faithful hoarders became ever more fearful since they became afraid the poor and hungry would attack them. So, they said to one another: "Let us build walls around our wealth so that no stranger can take it from us." They started erecting walls so high that they could not even see anymore whether there were enemies outside the walls or not.! As their fear increased they told each other: "Our enemies have become so numerous that they may be able to tear down our walls. Our walls are not strong enough to keep them away. We need to put bombs on top of the walls so that nobody will dare to even come close to us."

But instead of feeling safe and secure behind their armed walls they found thmselves trapped in the prison they had built with their own fear. They even became afraid of their own bombs, wondering if they might harm themselves more than their enemy. And gradually, they realized their fear of death had brought them close to it.

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I think that there is a great lesson for us to learn. I think that we need to really try to learn and live the motto: what can I offer. We need to continue to examine the world around us and see what we can offer the world.

We have a world that is crumbling around us. We can make a difference. Yes, it will be ugly at times. Yes, it can and will be difficult at times. But, we can make a difference. Yes, it may cost us some of our time and some of our possesions.

Are we willing to step out of our comfort zone ?
Are we willing to give instead of take ?
Are we willing to see the hurting around us ?
Are we willing to reach out and help those in need ?

Will you take the necessary step ?

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