Monday, August 16, 2010

Staying in the Light

O righteous God,
       who searches minds and hearts,
       bring to an end the violence of the wicked
       and make the righteous secure.
 My shield is God Most High,
       who saves the upright in heart.

He who digs a hole and scoops it out
       falls into the pit he has made.
The trouble he causes recoils on himself;
       his violence comes down on his own head - Psalm 7: 9-10, 15-16

Today’s Reading: Psalms 7-9; Acts 18

I was chatting with someone the other day on IM and she said something that made me really think. She said that it is the very few bad people in this world that are the cause of all the trouble for the good folks in the world.

I picked up the phone and called her. I had to see what she meant.

We then talked for a while about the topic from many angles. I brought up how our society is based on this false notion of scarcity so we are taught to live by the maxim “I gotta get mine before you can get yours”. She agreed and pointed to items in the news like the oil spill. The egregious negligence of a few has destroyed the ecosystems of the gulf for God knows how long. These folks are still rich while many hard working people who live on the gulf shores have lost their livelihoods.

It all seems so sad and hopeless when we look at it this way. How will the little guy make it in a big man’s world? How can we avoid being trampled underfoot as we scramble to live our lives?

Then it hit me… we were focusing on the wrong things.

Yes, the way of the world can be sad. Yes, there are some shady folks who have stolen and cheated their way to the top; and they use those tactics to remain there. And now that they are at the top they still leave wakes of destruction behind them as they struggle to stay there.

But so what?

These feelings of helplessness that we sometimes have are nothing new. Look at the Psalm above. The writer has placed their faith in God that they will make it through. He believes that in the end those who rose by destruction will be destroyed by their actions.

There are two ways to make it to the top. One can choose the dark side and try to climb to the top by any means necessary. As the psalm says, the chickens always come home to roost for these folks. From the outside looking in another person’s life may seem like a dream; but that is only because we cannot see the nightmare that is their reality.

The flip side is to stay true to our values. It may sound romantic or overly cliché but I really do believe that good things happen to good people. The more good we do, the more good comes to us. If we conduct ourselves and our business on the up and up remembering to have love as the foundation of our motives then we cannot help be successful.


Because who doesn’t want to be around people that they love? Who doesn’t want to do business with honest and trustworthy people? Sure the shady way may be the fast way but there is no long term security in it.

The reliable path to joy and prosperity is in the light, not the darkness.

So next time you feel like someone is doing you wrong or you feel like “The Man” always seems to win at the expense of the little guy, just remember that they may not be winning as much as you think.

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