Thursday, January 20, 2005
There once was a little boy who wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies & a six-pack of root beer, and he started his journey.
When he had gone a few blocks from home, he met an old man. He was sitting in the park near the water just staring at some birds .
The boy sat down next to him and
opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer,
The old man gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. His smile was so incredible that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer.
Once again, he smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.
As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was, and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps; he turned around, and ran back to the old man, and gave him a hug.
The old man gave him his biggest smile ever. When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked her son: "What did you do today that made you so happy?"
The child replied: "I had lunch with God." But before his mother could respond, he added: "You know what? He's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!"
Meanwhile, the old man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and asked: "Dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?"
He replied: "I ate Twinkies in the park with God."
But before his son responded, he added: "You know, He's much younger than I expected."
... an act of God...
You've either heard it or seen the words printed on insurance contracts. They are usually limited to those natural events that are both unforeseen and catastrophically destructive. Are these unforeseen and catastrophically destructive events "acts of God?" In my opinion, absolutely not.
Old age. Loneliness. Sickness. Depression. Apathy. Are these acts of God as well? No. It is my belief, similar to the common cold, they are all part of the prize package known as physical life.
So what is an "act of God?" Well, I would say it is a profound and loving anonymous signature of God upon our life. And it may very well be an action of one of His creatures (humans) that very much resembles an act(ion) of His.
You see, my friend, I'm not so sure that we are to ever discover God in complete isolation. It was probably always intended for us to find and celebrate that God through and with one another.
Tsunamis, earthquakes, sickness, loneliness - they are the chances we take by being born human. Maybe we'll experience them and hopefully we will circumvent them. But the odds are great that we will come into contact with individuals suffering under these and so many other maladies of life. They are simply looking for a kind word or deed to lift their day; an "act of God."
Are these unforeseen and catastrophically destructive events "acts of God?" No, but it is our response in the aftermath that becomes the true representation and measure of an "act of God." Are these maladies and illnesses "acts of God?" No, but it is the stage on which "acts of God" are played out.
You are - whether you realize it or not - a walking "act of God." You have the ability and gift to brighten a day, raise a spirit, warm a heart by your words and deeds. You also, like all people, have the ability to also crush a spirit, burden a day and shackle a heart by your words and deeds. In those moments following painful events and personal moments, you have the choice and ability to perform an "act of God." Wield that power wisely. Allow another to come home and simply say, "Can you believe that I shared a Twinkie with God today?"
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