The Question Is a Simple One
We tend to complicate matters. We are human.
To be human also means to have senses. If we could be without any senses, we probably would be finer creatures, nearer to our Creator, further down the path. Because we have senses, and the senses still play a part in our existence, we complicate matters.
To be human furthermore means we have a limited intellect. If we could perceive things limitlessly, we would be able to see how everything fits together, each forming a part of a whole, fitting in like pieces of a puzzle. We would be able to understand that certain events take place, seemingly working against each other for the eventual common good of the creation. But because we have limits that prohibit us from knowing all, however intelligent we may be, we complicate matters.
This complication of matters leads to a lack of understanding about why events which are clearly in conflict with each other could be good. How can wars, poverty, disgrace, hunger, hurt – all these things – be condoned by God? How can anything that creates disharmony come from God? Because God is almighty, this means that nothing happens without his approval. So how can events and situations which seem so evil come from God? We do not have the capacity to understand this.
Erwin W. Lutzer, in his book Making the Best of a Bad Decision, writes how things seem to work against the obvious direction but still form part of the success story. He refers to this as ‘clock-wise’ and says:
When I was a boy on a farm, I loved to take things apart. My eldest brother was able to take apart a tractor motor, repair it, put it back together, and make it run again. The best I could do was take apart a clock because I was intrigued by all the little wheels. Some were going in the same direction as the hands of the clock, and others were going counter-clockwise. Some were going fast and some slow. Because some of the wheels were spinning in opposite directions, it seemed as if some of the parts were working against themselves. But when I looked at the face and realized it kept time accurately, I had to admit that all the parts were working together for good.
Mark my words: When you have a bad day, it may be a very good day from God’s standpoint. God is working to bring about your ultimate good. Only He can do that. When He synergizes events, they fall together for good. I don’t know how God takes sodium and chloride, both of which are poisonous, and puts them together to create salt, without which we could not possibly live. I don’t know how God takes sin and disappointment and brings them together and makes something good out of them, but I’m convinced that He does. If you love Him and are called, you’re in the circle of those who benefit from this special work of God.
This clockwork which we call ‘life’ sometimes throws challenges at us which we cannot understand. It complicates matters to the extent that we lose balance and focus. We become entangled in scenarios where our priorities are blurred.
In times like these we would do well to remember that we are limited. We would do well to remember then that we do not have the ability to clarify these events. We would do well to remember that we have a teacher, a guide, who has told us what to do and how to do it. In times like these we need to remember only what our guide tells us.
So, how direct and honest are we with ourselves when we have to ask certain questions about our own behaviour? Do we also avoid the issue, or cloud it with justification, analysis and argumentation?
If clear thinking prevails, there is the ability to firmly sift through words, reasons and situations, discarding all the irrelevant stuff, to be left with only the relevant issue. And often when this point is reached, we find that the question is a simple one.
God throws life at us in return for our past. We can use life to justify not attending to our principles as we should, or we can sift through all our arguments – life’s wheels spinning in opposite directions – discarding them one by one, and come to the real issue. The question is a simple one: Am I attending to my meditation?
Your mind is scattered. Worldly learning scatters the mind. Simple-minded folks go in easily. The hill people in this country are such, and in several cases their souls went in at once as soon as the secret of concentration was imparted to them. Therefore, what is required on this path is simplicity of mind, faith and love.
Maharaj Sawan Singh, Spiritual Gems