Tuesday, March 4, 2003

Revelation 2:7

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."
Revelation 2:7

God offers us so much... the tree of life symbolizes not only life, but the love of God, which is offered to each of us.  Sometimes I think we all fall into the trap of thinking of God as cruel or harsh or impossibly demanding.  We probably have all thought of our parents that way at times as well... and that is the point.  The semester just got over for some of my classes and I think I learned a little bit about perception when one of my students turned in two plagiarized papers that he had gotten off the Internet.  I knew this student, and he is brilliant and talented... but I also knew his writing, and this wasn't his.  So, I did the research to make sure that they were plagiarized.  I didn't want to fail him though... and what I felt when I knew for sure wasn't anger.  It was much more complicated.  Frustration... empathy.  I knew that he was stressed, and worried about failing the class.  I gave him a chance to confess and to re-do the papers so that he wouldn't fail... and when I confronted him, at first he was really really angry and defensive, but after he knew that I was trying to help, and after a couple of hours, he was actually able to smile at me again... which was a relief. :)  ... anyway, all this to say... I think that in our relationship with God, we're all plagiarists sometimes.  We offer him blatantly obvious falseness, and then we get angry when he calls us on it.  He doesn't want to alienate us, but he isn't going to accept less than honesty.  And what he feels toward us isn't anger or hatred... just love, and an overwhelming desire for us to overcome this problem so that we don't have to have it between us.  He wants us to overcome all of it, so that we can come to him and feel his love, and live happily.  He knows that we are brilliant, talented people, and he sees our potential clearly.  It only saddens him when we throw rocks in our own path. :)  ... Today, let's work toward paradise.  Let's accept what God has to say, repent, and get on with life... and eternity.

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