Damascus

Damascus: (n) the capital of Syria

I used to know this fellow who had a heart to do what’s right but no mind to sustain it.

He passed on the impression he desired to see things done well, and if necessary, to change some of his own ways to accomplish it.

When we began a project together, he always said, “Let me know if I’m doing something wrong so I don’t end up being the weak link.”

Sounded good.

And when we first labored together, I took him at his word. So if he occasionally missed a spot or failed to follow up on what we decided to do, I quietly pointed it out to him.

Then began the three-step process:

  1. He frowned at me, while wrinkling his brow.
  2. He walked over and looked carefully at the alleged mistake.
  3. And he always—and I mean always—concluded with the same verbiage: “I think it’s alright.”

Of course, you fine readers know there is no legitimate, kindly comeback to this conclusion unless you want to begin a huge fight.

So even though he pretended he favored improvement—because he thought that sounded open-minded and one of the attributes of a good leader—when “shove” knocked “push” to the ground, he stuck to his guns.

You and I have two choices:

  • We can make natural mistakes and naturally correct them.
  • Or we can make natural mistakes, fail to correct them and wait for supernatural intervention.

There was a man from Tarsus named Saul.

He thought killing Christians was a good idea because they were going against his religion. (It didn’t seem to bother him that killing was also against the tenets of his faith.) He was so invested in murdering Christians that no intervention worked—except to have his ass blown off a horse with him sprawled on the ground, blinded, waiting to be finished off by the rod of God.

Yet even at that point, the voice from heaven told him to go someplace—and just wait.

In other words, “Think long and hard about how close you came to being incinerated.”

After several days, a visitor arrived, who continued Saul’s reclamation by telling him what he needed to do:

Repent.

This happened in Damascus.

That’s why, in the old-time days of “speak,” we often referred to a “road to Damascus experience.”

It’s one of those occasions when sense, friends, failure and nature, itself, has spoken to you so many times that all that remains to deter your futility is a flash course in mortality, and a brush with elimination.

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