"I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" -1 Corinthians 2: 2
Most religions seem to portray God as having the same or similar characteristics that I believe he has. In Sikhism they see him in all creation when spiritually awakened. I would venture to say that God can capture anyone’s heart and captivate them with his creation. When this awakening takes place, that person will grasp and run with whatever belief system is close by. If I had grown up in India and was awakened to God’s majesty in the Himalayas rather than the Rockies, I may be running full speed in the direction of Nirvana rather than the cross. I was taken back by the beauty and vastness of Gods creation while he gripped my heart in Colorado and has continued to do so through the beauty surrounding me each day. I would have been running toward a dead end in India but I would have been blind to any other option because of Buddhism, Hinduism, or Sikhisms close proximity. Who is to say I can’t approach a Sikh or a Buddhist, allow him to keep his religion and his “God” or “Buddah” but offer him further enlightenment with the knowledge and revelation of salvation through Jesus, who most religions already acknowledge as a great teacher. God is God, but without Jesus, it can’t become personal. This would allow them to truly see with the “inward eye,” to have a connection with the God who has captivated them. These religions teach and enforce a standard of living and expectations to reach an inward place of achievement. What Jesus teaches is that the goal is not something we achieve within our own capabilities but something we achieve by connection with the creation and creative power around us. The only way to do this is to accept the help from the creator. The help is Jesus, he is our path, the bridge between us and God. The goal is unity between Gods will and our own, living in that unity is the challenge. Accept the gift, receive the spirit and serve with God. They already believe in the life if Jesus, but they need to know the rest of the story. He died, rose and sent his spirit. Once they know Jesus, God will handle the rest, through his word, through his body and through his spirit. We must connect Gods people with the creator that has captivated them.
Monday, March 8, 2010
"Hey teacher, buy me some food." 'What' "will you buy me something?" 'What do you want' "some zambos and a fresco." This was one of my first interaction with Jarbie and Paul. Paul is 12 and in the third grade in the public schools and Jarbie is 11 and in 4th grade. They are black islander kids who live about a mile from me and can be seen anytime at Bojangles or the grocery store. They eat every meal by begging and spend all of their free time fishing, fighting or walking around town. These kids have families and "homes" but no parental guidance, supervision, or upbringing. The other teachers and myself have been able to build relationships with them just through our interactions around town. I talked to Paul months ago about going fishing sometime and helping him learn to read. After a week or so I shrugged off the idea because nothing seemed to be coming of it and two nights ago was reminded that words stick and what I shrugged off, Paul didn't. "Hey teacher, whats up man (wresting ensues)." 'hey man, how is school, are you making good notes?' "yeah" 'How about the reading, how is that coming?' "Spanish is ok but English is too hard" 'How would you feel about letting me help you learn to read English?' "Ok, we never went fishing" 'your right, I still want to do that' "Ok first we fish in the morning then learn to read at night." At 9:30 yesterday morning Paul showed up at the apartment with two of his other buddies, Jarbie and Keko. We proceeded to go "catch em' big Bara"(Baracuda). We took a taxi into town, bought some fishing line and some shrimp on the street. We then took a bus to the west end of the island, bought some hooks, grabbed some coke bottles from the garbage and I was taught the art of coiling line. There is an art form to wrapping fishing line around a bottle and baiting the hook to catch em' big fish. We fished off a dock underneath a restaurant for about 2 hours. The boys caught tons of fish but it wasn't an art that I was able to master. I caught one fish that was about 3 inches long, but I did catch something which is better than usual. The boys didn't catch a Bara but they did catch a big long nose gar and a huge Jack. Both of these fish were immediately carried upstairs to the kitchen of the restaurant. 'What did the cook say?' "Thank you, they let us fish here if we bring them the big ones and sometimes they let us eat here; not outside, inside the restaurant." After our time fishing, we went for a swim, me in my khaki shorts and three black boys in tighty whities, haha it was good stuff. I got to tell Jarbie the story of Jesus and pray with him while the other boys were swimming. It was an awesome opportunity that the Lord definitely set up. He opened up to me and shared a lot of things that an 11 year old boy should never have weighing on his life. It was a great afternoon and I think the boys are planning to come over one day this week and let me help them with their homework. We will see, one step at a time. "we fish first"