Not easy

It is not an easy road getting published, but I had some good news about a month ago that a meditation I submitted to a journal is being seriously considered. It has passed the “first round” or phase one and is on the short list as it was. The outcome, I’ve been told, will take quite a while, which goes to show how rigorous getting selected for publication can be. Not easy. Many other devotional pieces are in the same boat, but only a few survive.

Is loving those who love us easy?

It is easier to do good deeds for people who love you. But a sense of pride still creeps in. One gets proud of one’s good deeds. And one may think it will get a great reward from God.

Those good deeds one does for those who love you and will always love you back, but loving your enemies is the ultimate challenge because you love someone you does not love you, someone who is not on your side. Most of the time, one is loving those who already love him or her.

It entered my mind that as I did my good deeds today that my loving was exceptional and that God may reward me for my deeds. Then it entered my mind, what’s so exceptional about my deeds anyhow?

Jesus didn’t praise the person who loved those who loved him. He said it was a credit to a person for loving his enemies. So, when we really start loving our enemies, the enemies being those people who are not for us, we start getting closer to what Jesus teaches and commends.

It’s this utterly challenging teaching that I mostly fail at, but desire greatly, and must apply, in the small situations and the big ones. We mostly do what we should when we love those who love us. But we go beyond the limits when we love our enemies by doing good for them. And in doing this we are acting like Jesus when Jesus forgave his enemies.

Thinking about the unknown

An underrated film is 1984’s 2010. I’ve watched 2010 again and enjoyed every minute of it, more so than before.

There is something spiritual about this film which for me gives it more buoyance than most films. It shows me there is something more out there and that someone is trying to get through to us—before we lose out on the essence that comes from outside of ourselves.

In the film, the “presumed dead” David Bowman, a scientist, reappears to his wife, his mother, and a scientist. Bowman comes with a warning for the scientist as well as a message that something wonderful is about to happen. The scientist takes the warning on good faith. Believing in it is not rational, but he must believe, to save his life.

I can just imagine it’s like God telling us to have faith and believe him because it’s going to be good for us, but we wouldn’t have a clue about what God’s talking about. That’s because thinking about what’s ‘out there’ is frightening, unusual and we are uncertain what we will find there. We want to protect ourselves from anything we are not familiar with. So, we hide.

But the other thing that Bowman tells the scientist is that by believing in his message and acting on it something wonderful is going to happen. This is like when something wonderful happens to someone who believes in the Christian message: that if one believes in Jesus, one can be awakened from living only for the material world.

Jesus holds his hand out and says, won’t you come with me? By saying yes to Jesus, something good happens in the spiritual realm. It is something we know has happened. God can get through to us, to know we can be “born again” from beyond this world, even as we live behind the walls that surround our earthly existences. 2010 is such a great film for raising this spiritual theme.

Winter or summer, but mostly in winter

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been writing a children’s short story, originally intended for a picture book. The inspiration was in a garden. I may approach publishers, but on speculation that they may or may not publish it. Of course there are the usual doubts that it won’t work for children, it’s too Watership-downish, although Watership Down was a goldmine in the end. If I go ahead with it is another thing. Judson Press have sent me a copy of the North American winter issue of The Secret Place which has one of my devotions in it. Whatever the season, be it winter or summer depending on the hemisphere, I’m pleased my article’s there. Winter or summer, but it will be mostly read in the North American winter.