Tag Archives: transfiguration

Learning to See

Story of the Day for Saturday November 5, 2011

Learning to See

                    Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good to be here. If you’d like, I’ll build three shelters . . .” 

                                                                                 Matthew 17:4

When the hospital administration proposed the construction of a new hospital to the medical staff, the reactions varied.

The dermatologist warned against making any rash moves, while the allergist voted to scratch it.  The ophthalmologist thought the idea was short-sighted, and the pathologist was adamant: “Over my dead body!”

But the gastroenterologist had a gut feeling it might be a good idea, and the podiatrist agreed, saying it would be a big step forward.

The proctologist, however, was adamant, “We’re already in arrears!” The urologist chimed in, saying the idea wouldn’t hold water.

The radiologist claimed he could see right through their objections.

“Well, you’ve got a lot of nerve,” said the neurologist. The anesthesiologists thought the new hospital would be a gas.  “This puts a whole new face on the matter,” the plastic surgeon added.

The orthopedist stood up to offer a joint resolution, and, while the internist thought it was a hard pill to swallow, they finally agreed, and were joined by the micro surgeons, who were thinking along the same vein.

Reluctantly, the psychiatrist voted for the project, but muttered that he still thought the idea was crazy.  And the cardiologist went along with the majority because he didn’t have the heart to say no.

 

We all tend to approach life from our own perspective. This can be a good thing because when it helps others understand a situation from a fresh angle.

But failing to consider where other people are coming from is the source of a lot of aggravation in life.  When we become self-centered, our failure to be sensitive to the viewpoint of others invites hard feelings and misunderstandings.

Everyone agrees that people who are selfish and fail to see the perspectives of others are obnoxious.  It’s harder to grasp, however, how often people who are compassionate can do more harm than good because their perspective is too narrow.

 

When Jesus first explained to his disciples that his mission as the Messiah was to suffer and die, Peter – motivated by love and loyalty – shouted, “This will never happen to you!” Peter’s motives were caring, but to Jesus, the suggestion that he avoid the way of suffering was the temptation of Satan himself.

About a week later, Jesus took Peter, James, and John up a high mountain – where he showed them his true majesty. Again, Peter’s motives were kind, but his perspective was skewed. He voted to stay on the mountain and bask in the glory, and, once again, failed to see the situation from Jesus’ perspective.

 

It’s not enough to care; to do good we must also learn to see.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

 

 


 

Breathing Holes

Story of the Day for Monday October 31, 2011

Breathing Holes

                 And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good to be here.  Let’s make three tents . . .

                                                        Mark 9:5

In  October, 1988, an Alaskan Eskimo discovered three gray whales who were drowning.  Surrounded by Arctic ice, the whales punched out a small breathing hole, but it was quickly icing over. The Eskimo returned with others who wielded chainsaws and pick axes to cut a series of holes in order to lead the whales back to open water.

The work was exhausting, but their story was picked up by the national news. Soon, oil companies and the military were donating equipment to help free Bonnet, Crossbeak, and Bone – the names given to the three whales. By creating a series of breathing holes, the rescue teams eventually led the whales to open water.

 

When we are overwhelmed by the pressures of life, have you noticed how we often speak of “drowning”? We need “breathing holes.” If you don’t take regular time to come up for air you will starve your soul of oxygen and other people will notice that your lips are turning blue.

A breathing hole is any way that you can find quiet and refresh your soul. Where you can pray, and ponder, and let God’s love wash over you to cleanse you and heal your wounds.

 

Those who worked to make breathing holes for the gray whales noticed that the whales were bleeding. The ice on the sides of the hole was so jagged that the whales were cutting themselves when they tried to come up for air. The smallest whale, Bone, eventually tore all the flesh off his snout and died.

Can I ask you something?  Is your “breathing hole” jagged around the edges?  I have seen people who go to worship or read books for a breath of fresh air, but come away bloodied with guilt. Don’t get me wrong – sometimes, conviction of sin and rebuke are necessary. But remember this: the Good News of Jesus is always exactly that – GOOD news.

 

Our first priority is to find breathing holes with smooth edges.  But, our second priority is to leave them.

The rescuers made a series of breathing holes, but the whales didn’t want to move from the one they were at.

 

Neither did Peter. Standing on a high mountain with James and John, he saw Jesus shine with a glory greater than the sun. This moment was so awesome, that Peter wanted to stay, and offered to build shelters up there on the peak.

The shelters were never built. To love and serve a hurting world, they would have to go down the mountain.

Breathing holes are not meant to escape from the hectic demands of life, but to re-enter the fray with a lungful of fresh air.

                                          (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)