Penpal

Dear God,

So lately I’ve been looking around at the world you created and I’ve got a bone to pick with you. What’s with all this poverty and death? Why did my grandfather get sick and die under your watch? Why do babies die in their mothers’ wombs? What’s up with accidents and global warming and wars where people who don’t even pick a side suffer? What about global catastrophes? Cyclone Idai? Haiti? If you’re so all-powerful and all-loving and ever-present and know the future why do you let this all happen? Are you just plain sadistic?

Yeah I’m pissed but most of all I want answers. Give them to me will you?

Thanks,

Joe


 

Dear Son,

Where do I even begin? My love for you and all the earth knows no bounds. I created you so that I could love you. I made the earth for you – everything I made was good. I AM good. Nothing outside of me is good. Therefore I designed you all for fellowship and relationship with me.

What do you think of slavery my son? You abhor it don’t you? So do I. Consider this, how can there be love without a choice? So I gave you and all mankind free will. With all my power and all my love I am faithful to my word and will not go against this one thing, your choice. I love you so much I give you a choice everyday, life or death, Me or death. “Choose life!” I shout from the heavens and to your heart, but I won’t force you, you get to choose. I gave you dominion over the earth. I won’t act without your say so, not because I have no power, power I have, but I have given you all the authority. I will not subvert it by acting without your permission. I AM faithful to my Word, how else would you trust Me? I even sent My most beloved Son, whom I love more than anything to die, for you! To restore the broken relationship between us. To usher in a better world than the corrupt one that exists now. He came with two instructions that let you know my heart:

  1. Love me with all your mind, soul, heart and strength.
  2. Love your neighbour as your love yourself.

Would you be complaining if this blueprint of living life my way were followed?

I made the earth and everything in it was good. When I made man it became very good. My plan is to make it even better. Lean on Me, trust not in your understanding and I will make your path straight. It’s ok to be mad but in due time you’ll see that no one loves you more than I do, and no one ever will. A life without Me was never my intention. Each day I call to you so that you choose life and life in abundance. That you choose Me.

PS If you find time please read the rest of my letters where I speak in depth of my love for you. I’ve compiled them in a book I’m sure you’ve heard of.

God.

The Pit

Nobody likes the pit. It isn’t a pleasant place to be in, but when you look back more often than not you’ll have a different perspective of the pit. The pit isn’t always an intended destination, but it can turn out to be for your good. The pit is the place where despair and desperation marry, their union seeks to take control of your life and smother you with their baby, depression… if you overcome this trio however, the pit will be where your character is built and you develop the traits required for you to flourish when you achieve what was once thought impossible. If you let it, the pit will weed out all of your shortcomings and jumpstart your transformation to being that man or woman you aspire to be.

One of my favourite true stories involves a bragging annoying teenager who was loved by his father above all his many brothers. He was egotistical and vain and would often share what he envisioned himself becoming, demeaning his siblings in the process. What did they do when the favourite child’s pride became too much for them? They threw him into a pit and told their father that he’d gone missing. In the pit the arrogant teen’s pride was instantly stripped away, replaced by a deep appreciation of life and everything that he had and a realisation of the value of others. In the pit he stopped envisioning things falling into his laps and developed a mentality of discipline and hard work steeped in iron-wrought principles that would not bend under intense pressure. It was in the pit that the metamorphosis he needed for his visions to come true occurred and years later when he was promoted to be the most important man on earth, the pride he had prior did not destroy him. On top of that he went on to forge an unbreakable, genuinely positive bond with his siblings. The pit gave him humility and the ability to forgive. That guy was called Joseph.

So the next time you find yourself in the pit, a pit you could have fallen into because of your own ignorance or poor decisions; or one where you might just be a victim of circumstances, look up and grasp the image of the sky above knowing that…

the time in the pit could be what propels you way above the clouds, far beyond the stratosphere to leave you dancing among the stars.

This marks the conclusion to the Individuality series. I will definitely return here once I’ve completed reading ‘Slight Edge’ and implementing more of these techniques in my own life. See you tomorrow for the start of the Creativity series.