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.

Correction

Correction: (n) punishment intended to reform, improve, or rehabilitate; chastisement; reproof.

Perhaps there is only one standard for evaluating quality in a human being.

Smiles are too easy—especially on a frowny day.

Prayers can be memorized.

Political promises, forgotten.

Wedding vows dimmed by passing time.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Devotion—merely an emotion.

Faith overwhelmed by doubt.

Love choked by jealousy.

There are moments when human beings appear to be worthy of the brain that finds home in our skull and the spirit that was breathed into us by the Divine. Then disappointment turns us into our darker selves and we reveal just how childish our inner children truly are.

But there is one way to tell if someone has weighed the values of life and discovered what is gold.

Correction.

Yes, what am I going to do when it is necessary for me to receive correction?

Because it will happen.

Not only are we imperfect, but we are also capable of practicing to perfection and because of fear and intimidation, performing ineptly.

Correction is necessary.

Correction is what allows us to do what the animals are incapable of achieving—repent and learn.

How do we handle correction?

Do we become resentful?

Do we become defensive and start explaining how we are misunderstood?

Do we point fingers and blame others for the shortcoming?

Do we lie in an attempt to create a different history?

Do we pretend we don’t hear?

Or do we hear and go out and pretend it doesn’t matter?

Correction is mandatory.

Correction is less painful when it’s received in silence, and the corrector doesn’t feel the need to pound home the point.

I am human—I hate correction.

I hate it so much that when it comes my way, I listen very intently, to make sure I absorb the truth that will protect me from being corrected in the same way ever again.


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