Sunday, September 21, 2008
I was having a conversation with a friend of mine, tonight. He’s a Afrikanner, which means he’s of Dutch descent here in South Africa. He’s a pastor, husband, father and a great friend. We were watching Ronin and just shooting the bull, talking about South African politics to Huggies diapers. I’m not quite sure how this came up, but we started to talk about thoughts and the power they have.
The conflict that took place in the Garden of Eden, when stripped away, was a battle of thoughts. The thought was this, is God good? Ok, now I remember how it came up, in the movie Ronin, Robert DeNrio meets a sort of wise, hermitish French man who has a collection of die-cast samurai warriors, which have been meticulously painted by him. Ronins are samurai warriors that have no master. We then began to discuss how the traditional Japanese people were so disciplined. The code of honor and perceived righteousness superceded all their human emotion and instinct. How Samurais would commit seppuku, an act of disemboweling oneself, upholding honor and truth.
The world is run by thoughts. They can either empower or destroy. They can set someone free or imprison for eternity. Thoughts empower us to live or die. Thoughts spurred the Renaissance in Western Europe. Thoughts brought about the World Wars One and Two. Many of those thoughts brought about the Holocaust of the Jews and Gypsies. Thoughts ignited the great Industrial Revolution in the United States. When the serpent seduced Eve to eat from Tree of Knowledge, he questioned the thought that God is Good, that God has the best in store, that God is trustworthy, that God is loving, always. A thought also brought God to become a man, for this man to limit his godliness into a poor and weak frame, to endure all the temptations of this frame, to eventually become beaten, mocked, abandoned, betrayed. How a thought brought this Son of Man to die on a cross, so all could see, without a shadow of doubt, the greatest thought in the universe is love; selfless and all enduring.
We’re at the last week, here at University Village, before the YWAM South Africa Staff Conference begins. After countless days, working into the wee hours of the night, the sense that we’re living in a time that history is being made here. There will be more days of work, after the conference is over, but just the same, the roofs erected and walls painted will house and nurture thoughts of love, freedom and hope.
“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” - Mother Teresa