Sometimes, we can go through moments in our lives disturbed by all the graphic images and repelling stories we read and view in the media. All things considered, is it really worth our time and energy to even care about what is happening in our world?
Please do not misunderstand, I have a heart, a very large heart that senses and feels the pain of others, even from afar. To move beyond sympathy for others to true empathy for one another is a true gift from God, but, all things considered, I have often wished I could just shut things off and just be oblivious to everything around me like the masses.
It hurts to feel the pain of others as an intercessor and as a representative or ambassador of Christ upon the earth. We are His people, bought with an enormous price, continually made perfect through His shed blood on the cross. The cross – an affront to the ungodly and the unbeliever; mercy and salvation for all those who believe.
As a follower of Christ, this particular gifting is not unique to me alone. I have met many people with a “gift of mercy”, often intercessors who can truly have empathy for those who suffer and are in great need. To move from being merely a sympathizer to an empathizer takes a lifetime of our own suffering, disappointments, and disillusionments.
All things considered, one cannot empathize with another human being unless they have walked upon a similar path in this lifetime.
An older preacher once said to me, “God wants us to tend our own gardens, rather than worry about the weeds in our neighbour’s garden...” There is a lot of truth in what he was saying about tending to our own gardens. I could literally spend another lifetime caring for the needs of my immediate family alone. All things considered, so much to do and so little time.
My wife recently said to me, “Now that you are mostly retired, you do not have to worry about what is going in the world…“. What she meant was that my personal life could be one of almost perfect peace. I no longer have to be involved in the battlefield of the workplace or even in the affairs of general society. I have payed my dues to society, the Church, my family, and my friends. It is time to just enjoy the simplicity of life without taking on more pain and sorrow in my prayers and in my writing. Canadian society (not to mention the rest of the world) might be going through an enormous upheaval due to ethnic conflict and terrorism, but that is the responsibility of us all.
All things considered, I can honestly say that I feel relieved of my “duties” and am looking forward to the next chapter of my life, however long or short that might be 🙂
The decisions we make today become who we are tomorrow.