Here is a true story of an immigrant family on a ship from Europe to America: They were poor, so poor that they had to spend almost all of their money on the ticket. What they had left over for food was only enough to buy bread and cheese. All they ate were cheese sandwiches. The young boy, Hans, said to his father, "Dad, please, give me some money for an ice cream cone. I hate cheese sandwiches!" His father said, "Son, we are poor. Cheese sandwiches will keep you alive until we reach New York; the streets are made of gold, and we will eat whatever we want." Not satisfied, Hans continued to beg for money so his father gave him some change for an ice cream cone. The boy disappeared and didn't come back for two hours. When he did come back he sported a big fat tummy and a huge smile on his face. "Hans, did you get your ice cream cone?" "You bet, Dad. And then another one, then a steak, and then apple pie." "What? You bought all that with the money I gave you" "Oh no, Dad. It is free! It comes with the ticket!"
If we analyze this true story, we can reach various conclusions. Obviously, this immigrant family did not realize that the food comes with the ticket. Perhaps they were misinformed or they had trouble speaking the language. Were they quiet and shy, not wishing to mix with the other passengers? Whatever the case, they missed out on some great food! I believe that this is a story that many could relate to. Unfortunately, this is a story that is repeated many times over many individuals and families around us. It is just very sad to know that due to their ignorance and false humility that they almost missed the benefits that came with their tickets.
Remember that each and every human being has been given somewhat a ticket to live life to its fullest potential. While many may argue that not all of us were born into the same standard and status of life and they have used this excuse over and over to whine through life filled with despair and discouragement. Others simply have opted to be quiet and content when they can become courageous in seeking the better life. The statement, "Life is unfair!" has become a slogan of many to be bitter about life and others around them.
Indeed, life is unfair and never has become fair due to the human nature of selfishness, a by-product of sin. How did it start? No one can argue that God Himself provided the first couple, Adam and Eve a Garden called Eden. A little paradise! The only basic instruction was the prohibition to partake the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Everything was theirs for their reach except for this one tree. But God never mentioned about a talking serpent that will tempt Eve. We all know what happened after the serpent's temptation: the fall of man and eviction from the Garden of Eden. Who was to blame?
From this episode of human history, we were made aware of our own demise. Even after being caught by God of their sin Adam and Eve never took the blame but pointed it at one another and Adam even blamed God. Knowing what I know about God that He is a gracious, forgiving God, if only these two have humbled when they were caught and admitted their sin, who knows what could have transpired next. Regrettably, they did not and this is the main reason we are in this situation. That is why until we put the blame squarely on our own doing, we will not learn that the basic rule of life is humility before God. There is no other way but up when you have stooped down touching the ground. Thus, the Scripture states in James 4:10, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up." (NIV)
What a promise to uphold in our daily life. Let God be God and see what He will do when we genuinely humble ourselves before Him.
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