Saturday, January 28, 2017

“The truth is that we are all resident aliens here on this earth. God has given us “green cards” so we can help Him accomplish what He needs till He calls us to our real home.” — me

There are many huge questions about life:  why are we here, who created everything, is there a God, what is our purpose, is there other life in the universe, and many other deep subjects.  I’m not going to attempt to answer any of them.  I, personally, believe in God and believe that God created everything out of love, but what I believe doesn’t mean you have to believe it.  What it all boils down to is that no matter why we are here or who put us here—we are here, so what do we do with that fact?  I don’t believe that if I work hard and follow all the rules that I will get a free pass into heaven.  In fact, I don’t care whether I go to heaven or not.  Now, today, you are getting a lot of Wiggins Theology 101, which means you can dismiss it out of hand as the ramblings of a crazy person if you want.  It won’t hurt my feelings, but I am going to let you know what I believe and why.  You see, it doesn’t matter to me how old the Earth is or how it came into being.  It doesn’t matter to me if there is a heaven or a hell as I am not trying to build up reward points to get into heaven, or to limit my demerits so that I don’t go to hell.  What I know is that as one who believes in God and in Christ and His sacrifice for us, I am here to serve others and for no other specific purpose.  God may have a specific purpose in mind for me, but He hasn’t shared that with me.  I know that helping others gives me more joy than anything else and makes all my suffering and pain worthwhile.  Seeing my name in lights, or on a building, or on plaques doesn’t do anything for me—in fact, I rather try to avoid those things.  If I am remembered long after my passing, I want it to be for what I have done for those in need.  There are so many orphan children in just a five mile radius from my house here in Bunda that I could never meet all their needs.  However, I can (with a lot of help from my wife and others all over the world) see that almost 300 of those small children get to go to preschool with teachers trained in the Montessori method by my beloved wife.  I can see that over 150 of those kids get to eat hot meals every day.  I can help get biosand filters built and placed (seven just this week—enough for 200 people to have clean, safe drinking water), and I can write a blog every day (this one is number 2,625 since I started) to try to help others all over the world know what we are doing here and what God is calling them to do.  To date over 200,000 people have read my blogs over the last six or seven years.  It’s not a lot to do, but it’s what I can do using talents that God has given me.  We are very aware that we don’t do a lot to change things for the people living here, but we do what we can, with what we have, where we are—and that’s enough.  Yes, sometimes it’s a struggle, but one that is worth doing.  Since I am convinced that serving those in need, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, remembering the widows and orphans, expanding the Kingdom of God, and caring for those who have no one else to care for them is why I am here—I don’t have to worry about the big questions of life.  I just have to wake up every day and do what I can for God’s children who need my help.  Every night I pray the prayer Elie Wiesel taught me, “So, God, how’d I do today?  Did I make You proud or did I make you ashamed?”  It is my earnest desire that the “prouds” far outnumber the “ashameds”.  The only reward I really want is to know that God will one day say of me, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”  That is the highest for which I can hope.  I don’t know why you are here or what God wants of you, but it would be my guess that serving others would be a great way to go.  When it comes to serving others, you are only limited by your imagination, your desire, and your willingness to go that “extra” mile.  When I do finally come to the end of my life on this planet, I hope that I am still involved with helping others and not engaging in philosophical discussions about whether or not Jesus was an Essene (you can Google that if you need).  Sure, I think about the big questions from time to time, everyone does, but I can’t let thinking about them interfere with my service.  Wish I could say I have eliminated sinning from my daily life, but I’m no saint.  St. Paul thought that “saints” were those who struggled with trying to live a life in imitation of Christ, so I might meet Paul’s definition of Saint, but I am too often a sinner to rest on my laurels.  What do they say, every Saint has a past and every sinner has a future?  I like that.  God has forgiven me many times and will have to forgive me almost every day as I am a flawed human being, but I am a human being who really does get more pleasure in giving and helping and serving than from anything else.  I have had to delete Facebook posts when I wrote faster than I thought about the consequences of what I was writing (I don’t think I’m alone in that).  I’m just sayin’ that I don’t think God has ever been displeased by those who were too generous, too caring, too loving, or who serve others.  God never promised us a rose garden, but He loved us enough to put a beautiful bloom on a thorny stem.  We all know about the thorns, but some us let the thorns blind us to the blossom.  I still read almost twenty books a month and love to watch movies and historical series like “The Crown” and “Victoria.”  Happily, John and Karen are willing to watch with me and discuss movies and literature with me, but I’d keep on serving even without those perks.  I do believe that God sends “thank-you” notes in many forms to those who are doing what He has asked of us.  So, this lesson from Wiggins Theology 101 is over.  You are free to dismiss it out of hand, or maybe, you can learn from it and become more of a “good and faithful servant” than you have been up to now.  All I know is that there will be orphans fed and educated and clothed, widows getting goats, clean, safe drinking water available for those who need it, and God willing, there will be blog number 2,626 tomorrow—‘cause that’s what I do (with a lot of help from my friends).

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